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Full text of "History of the town of Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts : from the grant of Hathorn's farm, 1676-1878"

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dicated below. 

SEP 2 6 1983 , 







Posterity delights in details. — Jo/tn Qiiii'uy Adnm 




I have written a History of the Town of Townsend, 
embracing most of the incidents worthy of record, 
covering a period of two hundred years". My task is 
done. I have presented on these pages no elegant word 
painting. I have described no battle scenes or heroes ; no 
intrigues or crimes of monarchs or their prime ministers : 
but I have labored faithfully to portray some of the 
characteristics of our Puritan ancestors, in the dry details 
of this local history. They came to found an asylum for 
religious liberty, without any clearly defined ideas of civil 
government. Their great aim was a pure religion 
combined with an independent church. Their hopes all 
centered on this one object, which engrossed their entire 
efforts, their muscular forces, their dreams by night, their 
morning and evening orisons. I have endeavored to 
exhibit the patriotism of our pilgrim fathers, during the 
revolutionary struggle, in a manner that will suggest the 
cost of liberty, the price of which is eternal vigilance. If 
some of the names of those brave men have been wrested 
from oblivion, and justice done to those now almost 
forgotten, then I am well paid for the toil through the 
many wear}^ yet pleasant hours, spent among the records 
and papers made one hundred years ago. 

It should be the object of every writer of a town 
history, to preserve the memory of local events and 
enterprises ; to record the manners and customs, the 


sacrifices and toils of the fathers ; to gather from old 
records and family tradidons all important facts which the 
county or state historians have omitted. It is only within 
a few years that any attention has been paid to the 
preparation of town histories. In 185 1, while the history 
of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, was in preparation, 
Mr. Kidder was considered almost a lunatic, while he and 
his artist were making sketches of the meeting-houses, 
academy, and old mansions of that town. Now, four of 
the towns adjoining New Ipswich, have ample local his- 
tories nearly as fully illustrated as is the history of that 

More than two hundred years ago, Thomas Fuller, 
D.D., a man of excellent learning and great benevolence, 
wrote as follows : — 

"History is a velvet study, and recreation work. What 
a pitie it is to see a proper gentleman to have such a crick 
in his neck that he cannot look backward ! Yet no better 
is he who cannot see behind him the actions which long 
since were performed. History maketh a young man to 
be old ; privileging him with the experience of age, 
without either the infirmities or inconveniences thereof. 
Yea, it not only maketh things past, present ; but enableth 
one to make a rationall conjecture of things to come." 

In the study of records, I have been brought in contact 
with some excellent minds. I almost feel acquainted 
with Samuel Manning, Daniel Adams, James Hosley, and 
others, who placed on record the acts of the town, through 
the eventful days of the colonial and revolutionary times. 
I have almost heard their voices and peered into their 
pleasant but determined faces. Some of the most interest- 
ing facts, however, concerning the transactions which 
occurred during the first hundred years of our history, 
and even after that time, were gleaned from outside of 
the town records. The puritans were men of action not 


words. They had little time to commit their thoughts to 
writing. What the}' wrote was done more from necessity, 
than the love of perpetuating the remembrance of their 

The history of Townsend should have been written 
long ago, before the third generation from the fathers 
passed away. Many things, of great interest, can never 
be known which might have been learned if a timely effort 
had been made. Even tradition seems to have died out. 
The farms, on our hill-sides, once occupied by large 
families, the sons and daughters of which filled the school 
houses, and wended their way to one common place of 
worship, on the sabbath, are now in the hands of strangers. 
The history of the earliest settlers of this town can never 
be written satisfactorily. It is impossible to point out the 
exact location where many of them "broke the wilderness" 
and built their cabins. In this work, with reference to the 
ecclesiastical affairs of the town, I have aimed to exhibit 
a complete and impartial history of the church and its 
ministers, during the period that the church was a town 
institution. I have studied the characters of these ministers 
who brought glad tidings to the fathers during the first 
hundred years of the towns existence, and I hope I have 
done justice both to them and the subject. The ministers, 
who followed Mr. Palmer with the Congregationalists, 
I have described impartially as they appeared to me. 
Concerning the other clergymen sketched in this work, I 
have given their characters as I have learned them from 
other sources, rather than from observation. 

Dr. Johnson said that "he who describes what he 
never saw draws from fancy." If this proposition be 
literally true, then we have a greater amount of fiction 
from the pens of Gibbon, Hume or Irving, than was ever 
placed to their credit. I have given sketches of men more 


fullv than most writers of local histories, on the principle 
laid down by a great writer, that "man is perennially 
interesting to man." Many persons herein described are 
now alive. The rule is that men must die before they can 
be embalmed. If I am not deceived their characters have 
been accurately drawn. 

The records of births, from the settlement of the town 
to 1800, are incomplete ; so that any account that might be 
gleaned concerning these interesting statistics would not 
be very satisfactory. In regard to genealogy, I have not 
pursued that subject to any extent, because some of our 
most prominent families are already placed on record. 
The Spaulding, Giles, Stickney, Richardson, and Ball 
Memorials, have been for some time in possession of these 

It is impossible that a work of this description, 
containing such a mass of facts and abounding in dates, 
should be free from errors. That errors are herein 
contained -is beyond question. I beg my readers to point 
them out to the next man who will write the supplementary 
chronicles of the town. 

I have received valuable assistance in my labor, while 
compiling this work, from many -sources: tVorn John 
Langdon Sibley, ex-librarian of Harvard University ; 
trom the Librarians of the Historical Societies ; from Dr. 
Strong, who has charge of the Massachusetts Archives ; 
from the courteous and gentlemanly clerks in the office of 
the Secretary of State ; and what has been very agreeable, 
I have made the acquaintance of a class of historians, 
genealogists, and antiquarians, who have extended to me 
their friendly aid and sympathy. 

Itiiamar B. Sawtelle. 

Tow^nsend, March 22, 1878. 




Hills — Streams and Brooks — Ash Swamp— Wild Animals— Fishes — 
Birds — Name of the Town — Population. 13 — 30. 



Frequent Grants by the Assemblj^— Hathorn's Farm — Jonathan Dan- 
forth — Grant of two Towns on the westerly side of Groton west 
line — Pj'oceedings of the Committee assembled at Concord to 
grant out said Townships — Names of the Persons to whom Lots 
were granted — Some Account of the Disagreement between the 
Proprietors of Dunstable and the North Town— Report of Sam- 
uel Danforth concerning the Condition of the North Town in 
1730 — Charter of the Town of Townshend — Other Land Grants — 
Cambridge Grammar School Farm— Groton Gore — Location of 
the Province Line— Earliest Settlers known — Allotment by the 
Committee of the Proprietors — Account of some Early Settlers — 
Warrant for calling the First Legal Meeting— Isaac Spanlding— 
Customs and Fashions of the Early Settlers— Proceedings at the 
First Meetings of the Proprietors— Proprietors' Clerks — Modera- 
tors of the Meetings of the Proprietors— Influence of Concord 
Men in the Settlement of the Town. 31—76. 




Settlement of Rev. Phiiiehas Heinenway, the First Minister of Townsend 
— Memoir of him bj' Rev. Mr. Temple— Church Covenant \vritten 
by Mr. Hemenway — Account of Servants (negroes) belonging 
to the Church— Church Discipline— Owning the Covenant— New 
Lights— Character of Mr. Hemenway — His Death— Settlement of 
Rev. Samuel Dix — Account of liis Pastorate — Sample of his 
Eloquence — Action of the Church at the Decease of Rev. Mr. 
Dix — Ordination of Rev. David Palmer — Character of Mr. Palmer 
as an Educator — The Unitarian Excitement and Withdrawal of 
Mr. Palmer from the Town Meeting-house — Account of the Latter 
Part of his Life— Pastorate of William M. Rogers — Pastorate of 
Columbus Shumway — Pastorate of David Stowell — Pastorate of 
Luther H. Sheldon— Pastorate of E.W.Cooke— Pastorate of Moses 
Patten — Pastorate of George H. Morss — Pastorate of Henrj' C. 
Fay— Ordination of Albert F. Newton — Names of the Deacons— 
The Unitarians and Their Minisfei's- The Methodists. 77 — 122. 



Furniution of the Baptist Society in 1818— Inauguration of the Church 
in 1827 — Levi Ball Chosen Deacon— Action of the Town in Favor 
of the Baptists — Pastoi-ate of Rev. James Barnaby — Concise 
Memoir of Mr. Barnaby— Some Account of the Successors of 
Mr. Barnaby— Pastorate of Rev. Willard P. Upham— The Uni- 
versalist Restoration Society — Rev. John Pierce— Committee to 
Build a Meeting-house — Mention of the Several Pastors of this 
Society. 123—132. 



Tlu' First Meeting-house and its Location— " Pew Ground "—'• Seating 
the Meeting-house" — Controversy about the Location of the 
Second Meeting-house — Memoirs of John Hale, Oliver Prescott 
and .John Dunsmoor, the Committee Chosen to Locate this House 


— Names of the Pew Holders in the Second Meeting-house — 
Action of the Town in Eegard to Moving the Second Meeting- 
house to its Present Location at the Central Village— The First 
Bell in Town— The Congregational Meeting-house— The Baptist 
Meeting-house. 133—153. 



*•• The Training Band" — "The Alarm List" — Division of the Town into 
Two Military Companies— The North Company— The South 
Company — List of the Captains of these Companies— Townsend 
Light Infantry — Its Captains — Cemeteries- Laud Given by Wil- 
liam Clark — Burying Ground Near the Common at the Centre 
of the Town — Its Enlargement in 1854— Gift of Land for a Ceme- 
tery at West Townsend by Levi Warren — The Stocks, an Instru- 
ment of Torture to the Flesh— Amos Whitney's Will— His Epi- 
taph. 154-168. 



Excitement Previous to the War— A Pamphlet Received from the 
Selectmen of Boston— Committee of Correspondence and Safety 
— Action of the Town in 1773— Action of the Town in 1774 — 
Delegates to the Provincial Congress — Assistance Rendered by 
Townsend to the Citizens of Boston During its Seige — Efforts 
to Obtain Salt— Tlie Alarm on the 19th of April, 1775— Roll of 
Capt. James Hosley's Company of Minute-Men that Marched to 
Defend the Colony— Roll of Capt. Samuel Donglas' Company — 
Roll of Capt. Henry Farwell's Company— Capt. Thomas Warren's 
Company— Attempt to Regulate the Prices of Goods and Labor— 
The Tories of Townsend — Letter from Boston Concerning the 
Return of the Absentees— Privations and Struggles for Indepen- 
dence—Story of Eunice Locke — Some Account of Her and Her 
Brother — Roll of Capt. James Hosley's Company of Volunteers 
from Townsend, Pepperell, and Ashby, which Went to the Assis- 
tance of Gen. Gates in 1777 — Adoption of the State Constitu- 
tion, 1778 — Depreciation of the Continental Money — Names of 
the Townsend Soldiers in 1780— List of Prices — Retrospective. 




Causes which Led to the Revolt— Mob at Springfield — Excitement in 
Worcester County— The People of Concord in Fear of the In- 
surgents — Letter from Concord to the Neighboring Towns — 
Town Meetings and Committees at this Time — Job Shattuck 
and his Subalterns — Stopping the Courts— Capture of Shattuck — 
List of the Shaj^s Men Belonging to Townsend— Peter Butter- 
fleld— Luke Day the Leading Spirit of the Insurrection — Daniel 
Shays. 213—222. 



Early Action of the Town to Preserve the " Candlewood " — Home 
Instruction in the Log-Cabins — First Eecord of Any Effort to 
Establish a Public School — First School-House— Account of 
Several of the School-Houses — Division of the Town into "Nine 
Squadrons" in 1783— First School Committee in 1796— West 
Townsend Female Seminary — Townsend Academy — General In- 
terest in Education — Names of Some Prominent Teachers — 
Sketch of Hon. Seth Davis. 223—240. 



First Mill in Town at the Harbor, 1733— '^Hubbard's Mill" at West 
Townsend — Hezekiah Richardson's Mill and the Variety of Busi- 
ness at that Place— James Giles' Mill — Eben Butler's Mill — 
Daniel Giles' Mill, afterwards Owned by Adams & Powers — 
Steam Mill of Giles & Larkin— Steam Mill of Walter Fessen- 
den & Son— Sketch of Walter Fessenden — The Work done by 
these Mills— Morocco Factory of Abram S. French — Sketch of 
Abram S. French — Clotliiers and Wool Carders — Hezekiah Rich- 
ardson and his Sons — Samuel Whitney, the Inventor of the 
Planer — Peter Manning, the Saddler — Townsend Harbor in 1790 
—The Tanning Business Carried on by Several Parties— Hats 
Made of Fur, and Palm Leaf Hats— Foundry at tlie Harbor- 
Statistics of the Manufactures of Townsend. for 1875, taken 
fx'om the Decennial Census. 241 — 258. 




Rabidiiess of the Politicians Previous to tlie Eebellion— Stupendous 
Effort of Massachusetts in Suppressing It — War a Terrible Agent 
in Civilization — Call for a Town Meeting, April 20th, 1861 — 
Patriotic Resolves of the Town — Names of the Men who En- 
listed in June, 1861, and were Mustered into the Sixth 
Massachusetts Volunteers — Men of the Twenty-Sixth Massachu- 
setts Regiment — Account of the Thirty-Third Regiment, and 
the Townsend men in the same — Re-enlistment of the Xine 
Months Men in the Old Sixth Regiment, in August, 1862— The 
Fifty-Third Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers for -Nine 
Months — Sketch of Capt. Anson D. Fessenden — Names and 
Terms of Service of Townsend Men in Various Regiments — 
Roll of Townsend Men Belonging to the Twenty-Fourth Massa- 
chusetts Heavy Artillerj^ — Roll of the One Hundred Days Men 
who Enlisted July 7, 1864— Patriotism of our Young Men, and 
the Number of them Killed and who Lost their Lives — Aid 
Aftorded by the Ladies of Townsend to the Sanitary Com- 
mission. 259—284, 



.AAVYERS : Walter Hastings— Aaron Keyes— Frederick A. Worcester. 
Physicians : Joseph Adams — Samuel Hosley— Isaac Mullikin— 
Samuel Lovejoy — Moses Kidder — John Bertram — Ebenezer P. 
Hills — Augustus G. Stickney — John Heard — Royal B. Boynton— 
Charles J. Towne. Coli>ege Graduates: John Hubbard— 
Abraham Butterfield — Daniel Adams — Joseph Walker — William 
Farmer— John Stevens — Joel Giles — John Graham— John Giles 
— Charles Brooks — Warren Brooks — Mark Davis — Charles T. 
Haynes— John M. Proctor— Randall Spaulding— Eliel S. Ball— 
Wayland Spaulding. 285—320. 




Samuel Stone— Ralph Warren— James X. Tucker— James Hosley 
—Walter Hastings— John Spaukling— Levi Wallace— Stillman 
Haynes— The Warrens. .321—339. 



Town Library and its Origin— Fire Department— Odd Fellows— Sketch 
of Albert L. Fessenden— Townsend National Bank— The Ladies' 
Benevolent Society of the Orthodox Congregational Church— 
Townsend Cornet Band— Stage Coaches— Post-Offlces and Post- 
masters. 340 — 355. 



Some Eemarkable Votes of the Town— Good Sense of the Town 
About Taxes— Names of the Town Clerks. Moderators, Select- 
men, and Representatives, from the Time the Town was Char- 
tered to 1879— Justices of the Peace— County Road Through 
Groton— Deer Reeves — Hog Reeves— Titliing-Men. 356—384. 



jMarriages of Townsend People from the Incorporation of tlie Town 
to the Present Time. 38.5—428. 



Record of the Descendants of Daniel Adams, wJio settled in Town- 
send, in 1742— The Whitney Family as Benefactors and Business 
Men— Genealogy of some of the Townsend Whitneys. 429—455. 











JOEL GILES, Esq 308 

ELIEL S. BALL, A. M 318 


JAMES N. TUCKER, Esq ...328 










c ^^^"^ :^n 



Hills — Streams and Brooks— Ash Swamp— Wild Animals— Fishes- 
Birds — Name of the Town — Population. 

The town of Townsend is situated in the northwest 
angle of Middlesex County. Massachusetts, in latitude 
42° 38' north, and longitude 71° 43' west. It is on the 
northern margin of the State, adjoining New Hampshire, 
is forty miles northwesterly from Boston, and hftv-six 
miles southerly from Concord, New Hampshire. 

In 1792, the selectmen of Townsend. in company 
with the selectmen of the seven adjoining to\\ns, each in 
their turn, caused an accurate survey of the town and a 
plan thereof to be made. The several boundaries of the 
town, since that date, have remained unaltered in the least 
particular. By that survey it is bounded, as follows : — 
"Beginning at the northeast corner and running south 4° 
west on Pepperell line 300 rods to Groton old corner ; 
thence south 14° west on Pepperell line 880 rods to the 
northwest corner of Groton ; thence south 14° west, on 
Groton line 270 rods to the northwest corner of Shirley : 
thence south 14° west on Shirley line 500 rods to the 
northeast corner of Lunenburg; thence north 62 j^'^ west 


1880 rods to the northwest corner of Lunenburg, in the 
east line of Ashby ; thence north 9° east by Ashby line 
1360 rods to the northeast corner of Ashb}' ; thence south 
82i<^° east bv the State line and Mason south line 1106 
rods to the soutiieast corner of Mason ; thence by the State 
line and the south line of Brookline 760 rods to the point 
of beginning; and contains by estimation 19,271 acres." 

The town contains a trifle more than five and one-half 
miles square, or thirty and one-ninth square miles. 

The surface, except that portion near the river, is 
highly diversified with hills and valley's. On the banks of 
the Squanicook, through the entire length of the town, 
there are areas of level, sandy plains. Some of these, 
that are only slightly elevated above the natural surface of 
the river, are fertile and afford good remuneration to the 
husbandman for his toil. 

The rocks are ferruginous gneiss, Merrimack schist 
and St. Johns group. There are ledges of gneiss, that 
afford large quantities of stone for building purposes. 
Some of them can be split and worked to good advantage ; 
and only the small portion of iron, which is one of their 
constituent parts, prevents a much more extensive use of 
them. On the east side of the Nissequassick Hill, a vein 
of plumbago crops out, which has never been investigated 
and nothing is known in regard to its quality or value. 
On the hills are a few large boulders, some of which at a 
certain period were travellers b\- iceberg, the most con- 
spicuous of which is situated on the west side of the Lun- 
enburg road, on the summit of Bayberry Hill. 

The borders of the town, except at the southeastern 
part are hilly. The prmcipal hills are Nissequassick Hill, 
West Hill, Barker Hill, Battery Hill and Bavberrv Hill. 


"NissEQUASSicK Hill" embraces the northeastern part 
of the town from the Harbor to the State line, the northern 
slope extending into New Hampshire. Since the settle- 
ment of the town, this hill has been more densely popu- 
lated than any other portion thereof except the villages. 
It contains some rough ledges and broken crags on its 
eastern brow, except which, it has few ravines or abrupt 
elevations; and its soil, although some rocky, is generallv 
Ht for the plow. 

It is a graceful elevation and has manv stand points 
commanding views of scenic beautv. Manv charming 
prospects, worthy of an ascent to behold, may be seen 
from its summit. The Monadnock, the Watatic, the 
Wachusett and the bold elevations at the north, including 
Jo English Hill, together with the mountains of New 
Ipswich, Peterborough and Lyndeborough in New Hamp- 
shire, are distinctly visible and stand out in bold relief, 
resembling turrets in the sk\- belonging to the walls of 
some etherial world. The farm-buildings situated on the 
summit of this hill are in plain sight of several towns at 
the west and northwest. 

West Hill,_ situated west and nearly opposite the 
hill just described, of about the same elevation, lies also 
in the northern part of the town, extending further into 
New Hampshire. It, however, does not take up so much 
of the territory of the town ; neither is it so well adapted 
to cultivation as Nissequassick Hill. It contains ledgy, 
waste lands, in which are wild ravines and swamps caused 
by rocky barriers, which impede the natural course of the 
rivulets. Two or three farms on its summit constitute all 
the soil on this hill suitable for cultivation : and most of the 


land is covered with a growth of forest trees of different 
sizes and ages, for which purpose it is best adapted. Clos- 
ing up to this hill on the west comes : — 

Barker Hill, sometimes called "Walker Hill," 

it being at one time the place of residence of Deacon 
Samuel Walker. The eastern brow of this hill contains 
some good soil, on which are two or three well cultivated 
farms. The balance of its territory is ver}- rough and 
ledgv, being the largest tract of uninhabited land in 

It is ditiicult to reach its summit, with a team, from 
the west. Just before the present lull in business, the high 
price of lumber caused the removal of the original growth 
from one hundred acres near its highest point, at the price 
of ten thousand dollars. Many proud and stately conifers, 
which withstood the wintry winds of more than a centur\-, 
yielded to the woodman's axe, falling to the rock bound 
surface with a crash like a clap of "live thunder." Thus 
disappeared about the last remnant of the "old growth" 
in Townsend. It is' covered mostly like West Hill with 
a voung growth of timber. 

Battery Hill is a name applied to a part of an 
unbroken spur of the Turkey Hills, which extends from 
Pearl Hill in Fitchburg, north to New Ipswich. New 
Hampshire, bordering the whole western line of the town. 
The name was applied to that part of this range over 
which passes the old road from West Townsend to Ashb}-. 
extending perhaps a mile both north and south of this 
thoroughfare. It was so called from a garrison-house, 
w hich stood near its Inise, on or in which a cannon was 


placed by the settlers to give an alarm in case of the 
incursions of Indians. 

A few farms on this hill, at the west and northwest of 
Ash Swamp, are of excellent quality, the soil containing 
just enough argillaceous matter to prevent the cultivated 
fields from being washed by the heavy rains, and to hold 
moisture during the drouths of summer. 

Bayberry Hill in the southwest part of the town 
has nearl}' half its territorv in Lunenburg. On the north 
and west sides of this hill its ascent is c[uite steep and the 
approaches to its summit are somewhat difficult. Several 
hundred acres on its top are comparativeh' level. The 
farms here are rocky, and the land is cold and backward 
in the spring. Some of our best peach orchards, which 
are a source of much pecuniar\' profit to their owners, are 
on this hill. Their northern exposure keeps the buds 
from too early a start in the spring, thereby preventing 
injur}- from late trosts. There is a point on the summit of 
this hill from which a prospect of panoranfic beauty may 
be seen in the distance, having the three villages of Town- 
send in the tbreground, situated about equidistant in an 
elongated basin, widening from the northwest to the south- 
east and shut in by these hills, dotted with white dwellings, 
pastures, fields and tbrests. 

Ash Swamp is a large tract of land, situated at the 
eastern base of Battery Hill, containing about three hun- 
dred acres. Nearly half of this territory has produced 
grass naturally, from time immemorial. The land in this 
swamp, Irom the settlement of the town to the present 
time, has been coveted and owned by many persons, in 


quantities varying from two to four acres. The fodder for 
a stock of cattle during the winter was considered by the 
farmers as incomplete without a ton or more of Ash Swamp 

Mr. Hill in his history of Mason (page 60), in order 
to show how carelessly records were made bv the New 
England town clerks in the days of yore, very properh- 
quotes from the Townsend records of 1737, the la\ing out 
of a road as a case in point. Ash Swamp was the objective 
point "where Horsley and Wallis and Brown and Wyman 
and Woodbviry goeth along for their ila^■." 

"Little Goose Pond" is situated on the old turnpike, 
just east of where the Potunk school-house stood. At 
present, the pond is much smaller than it was at the time 
this record was made, it having been partially drained. 
There is a drive-way through the edge of this pond from 
the turnpike, tor the purpose of watering animals. The 
pond around its edges is at present grown up with tlags. 
reeds and brush. "The Hither Goose Pond" is tlie small 
pond located nearly a quarter of a mile east of Little Goose 
Pond, sometimes called Davis Pond. 

"Rackkoon Brook" drains in part the southern slope 
of West Hill, crossing the road a few rods at the ^^■est of 
the house of the widow of the late Adams Reed. This 
road, the hn-ing out of which is quoted by Mr. Hill, start- 
ed from the southeast corner of Ash Swamp, near the 
mouth of Pearl Hill Brook (where there was a bridge 
across the Squanicook), running easterly to a jioint on 
the turnpike near where the Potunk school-house stood, 
thence as tlie turnpike is now traxelled. till it crosses the 


road leading eastward from West Townsend ; thence by 
that road, passing near No. 12 school-house, and onward 
southeasterly over Hathorn's Brook, on the line of the 

There are many instances in the town records con- 
cerning roads and lands, the laying out of which are much 
more obscure and difficult to locate than the one cited in 
the history of Mason. 

It must be easily inferred that the town surrounded by 
these hills must be well watered by the rivulets, brooks 
and streams, which flow down their sides and at their 
bases, into the principal stream, which occupies the lowest 
level of its central basin. 

The Koran says : "God is one; He has no partner. 
God is good ; He sendeth rain and water from the hills to 
cheer the waste places and to quench the parching thirst 
of all that drink." 

The Sqiianicook, running through the town from 
the northwest to the southeast, drains large areas of land 
outside of Townsend. It is not very crooked ; its general 
direction, in nautical terms, being nearly southeast by 
south until it approaches within, perhaps, a mile of the 
border of the town, where it makes a detour to the right 
and passes out between the corners of Groton and Shirley, 
and tbrms, in its onward course, the boundarv between 
these towns, till it empties its waters into the Nashua. This 
river and its tributaries have furnished motive power both 
in and out of town, which has been utilized since 1734, at 


more than twentv-tive different places. There are high- 
ways and bridges crossing it at six different phices, com- 
mencing at West Townsend and ending at the Harbor. 

The principal tributaries to the Squanicook are the 
following, viz : — 

WiNSHiP Brook has its source in the rough meadows 
at the westward of Mason Centre, where it receives the 
water trom Merriam Hill and the southerly slopes of the 
hills situated north of that point. It runs to the south, 
taking the waters of several brooks in its course, till it 
flows into the northeast corner of Ash Swamp. The Win- 
ships, at different times, lived on both sides of this brook : 
one of the name owning a mill on it ; hence the name. 
During a drouth this brook is dry, but when the snow 
leaves in the spring, or after a hea^•y fall of rain, its cur- 
rent seems hurrving along as though fearful of being 
late in putting in an appearance at the swamp. 

The Walker Brook comes down by the side of the 
Greenville road and runs into the northwest corner of Ash 
Swamp, discliarging its water into the Winship Brook, 
both of which united, constitute the Squanicook at its 
start, having its source in the southern part of Greenville, 
New Hampshire, and taking in through its course, waters 
from the corners of Ashby and New Ipswich. 

Locke Brook has its origin among the rough ledges 
and swamp holes in the south part of New Ipswich, at the 
north of the Ashby alms-house. It took its name Irom 
Hon. John Locke, once a member of Congress from this 
district, who lived on one of tlie Ashbv farms, through 


which it passes. It runs across the northeast angle of 
Ashby, and down a wild ravine, through which it enters 
the westerly side of Ash Swamp, penetrating nearly 
through the same till within a few rods of the Squani- 
cook, where it joins Willards Stream. This brook is fed 
by rivulets and springs, no brook of any size emptving 
into it during its whole course. 

Willards Stream, probably called for Samuel Wil- 
lard, who commanded a company of scouts in 1725, which 
marched northwesterly from Lancaster, Massachusetts, in 
pursuit of Indians, is the largest tributary of the Squani- 
cook. Its source is a reservoir situated in the southwest 
part of Ashby. It drains the easterly slope of Blood Hill, 
a part of which is in Ashburnham. About two-thirds of 
the area of the town of Ashb}' is drained bv this stream. 
After it leaves Ashby, south village, where its waters are 
utilized considerably, its course is easterly. For the dis- 
tance of half a mile before it reaches the margin of Town- 
send, its channel is deeply sunken between the hills, where 
it rushes onward, down the ravine and over its rocky bed, 
Ibaming and howling in its mad career, till impeded in its 
course by a massive stone dam thrown across the stream, 
where it partially "waits further orders." Its largest trib- 
utary is Trapp Falls Brook, which leaps into it just before 
it leaves the town of Ashby. It discharges its waters into 
the river, in the southeasterly part of Ash Swamp. 

Pearl Hill Brook has its source from the springs 
of Pearl Hill, in Fitchburg. Its course is northerly through 
a valley between a spur of the Turkey Hills and the 
w^estern slope of Bayberry Hill, in connection with other 


highlands adjoining in Lunenburg. This is a favorite 
brook. It is never dry ; and it seldom remains frozen over 
in the winter for any length of time. There is a drive-way 
through it from the Ashby road, which is much used for 
watering horses. This is the fifth and last brook that flows 
into the river in Ash Swamp, closing in there just below 
the mouth of Willards Stream. 

A brook flowing to the southwest, along the east base 
of Nissaquassick Hill, near Pepperell line, afterwards 
receiving the brook from the south side of the same hill, 
discharges considerable water into the river at the Harbor. 

A nameless stream which takes its rise near the Old 
Citv, and runs northeasterly into the river between the 
centre of the town and the Harbor, and Witch Brook, 
whicli runs across the southeast angle of the town, and 
empties into the river easterlv of Samuel F. Warren's 
house, together with those already described, are all the 
tributaries of the Squanicook from this town, the waters 
of which have been or are at present used for mill pur- 

There are only a few natural ponds in this town, and 
these are quite small : — 

WoRDEN Pond, a small sheet of clear water, is sit- 
uated in the west part of the town, near Ashby line. It 
has no visible outlet ; and it has been thought that it has 
some subterranean connection with Pearl Hill Brook, 
through which that stream becomes replenished. About 
1790, a pond now known as — 

"Dkaix Pond." situated on the sand}' hill northerly ol 
Worden Pond, was carelessly drained "just for fun." bv 


some hunters, who were basking in the Indian summer 
sun on its shores. The pond was full to its brim, swollen 
by the autumnal rains. A few scratches were made 
through the leaves and dirt from the water to the outer 
edge, at first causing a little current, which soon widened 
and widened, till the whole pond ran off with a tremen- 
dous roar, carrying fish, sand, and small trees uprooted in 
its track, a long distance. Since that time, thousands of 
loads of its mud deposits have been taken from its bed and 
used in composts for agricultural purposes. 

Walker Pond is situated about half-way from West 
Townsend to the centre of the town, a short distance to 
the north of the highwa}'. It was purposely drained to its 
present dimensions, more than one hundred vears ago, bv 
the proprietors of the lands around its shores, in order to 
obtain the soil \\hich laid beneath its waters. Large 
quantities of mud have been removed from the bed of this 

The Harbor Pond is a beautiful sheet of water, 
which came into existence in 1734, by the dam necessary 
lor the first mill privilege ever improved in this town. 

The river, brooks and ponds, of this town, abound 
with the fish common to this vicinitv. In order that the 
students of natural history of the next centurv mav know 
\\'hat varieties of the finn}' tribe tVequent these waters, 
at the present time, their names are here given : The brook 
trout (sal/no fontinalis) ; pickerel (csox rcticiilatis) \ perch 
(■pcrca favcsceus) ; shiner (stilhc chrisoleucas) : bream 
( poiiiot/s Tiilgaris) ; chub or dace (Icucisciis ccp/ialus) ; 


horned pout (^imclodiis catus) ; the eel (anguilla tenuiros- 
tris), and the black sucker (catostomus). Worden Pond 
has many visitors in the winter for pickerel tishing through 
the ice. When the river is first covered in winter, while 
the ice presents a clear, vitreous appearance, holes are cut 
through it, at which two persons are generally stationed 
with poles having hooks firmly attached. Some of the 
sportsmen then go up the river on its banks, a consid- 
erable distance, and getting upon the ice, commence 
pounding and stamping to make a noise, which frightens 
the black sucker. This shy fish will commence running 
from its enemies, and pass the hole in t^-^e ice, where the 
hooks are let down into the clear water, when they become 
an easy prey, being snatched up with a dexterous jerk. 

Spearing b}' torchlight was forbidden by an act of the 
town more than a century ago, but now in spring-time, 
Jack-o-lanterns may be seen, during the dark evenings, 
hovering along the banks of the Squanicook. The whole 
routine of fishing is carried so much to the extreme, that 
the angler seldom meets with his anticipated "luck." 

The wild animals of any New England locality 
change so much at different periods, that it appears neces- 
sary to particularize. When the town was settled, a heavy 
growth of wood covered its whole area. Pitch pine, elm 
and maple, constituted the principal growth along the light 
land bordering on the river, while the hills were thickly 
covered with white pine, oak. hemlock, black birch, 
cherry tree, chestnut, and walnut. 

Through these forests roamed the bear, wolf and deer, 
each of which turned its course from the smoke of the log- 
house of the Puritan. The deer remained longest, from 
the fact that all the towns on the frontier, at the return of 


each annual town meeting, chose officers, whose duties 
were to protect the deer during their breeding season. 
These officers were called "deer reeves." The beaver has 
left marks of his presence, in several places, on some of 
the small brooks. A tradition has come down that a cer- 
tain rough swamp in the north part of the town, crossed 
in part by the Brookline road, was the last place which 
this cvmning animal inhabited while here. To this day, 
the brook running through this swamp is called "Beaver 
Hole Brook." The otter (sutra), although well adapted 
to self-preservation, is occasionally taken here in a trap. 
This animal leaves a peculiar track in the snow, so that 
when the streams and swamps are covered with ice so that 
it cannot travel in them in its journeys from pond to pond, 
it is occasionally overtaken and shot. The mink not hav- 
ing the bump of caution like its ''great uncle," the otter, 
frequently leaves the water courses and makes a raid on 
the farmers' poultry-yard, once in a while at the expense 
of its life. Foxes and woodchucks are. perhaps, as 
numerous here as at any former period, while the raccoon 
is met less frequently, probably owing to the destruction of 
most of the heavy forests. The red and striped squirrels 
are numerous. The grey squirrel is less frequently seen 
than formerly, while the flying squirrel (volncclla ) is 
often seen, which is certainly one of the most curious, 
soft, gentle and beaudful of all living things. 

"The Fowls of the Air" found here are not different 
from those in other places in this latitude. Formerly the 
wild pigeon was so abundant, that the catching and mar- 
keting of these birds took up the time of three or four ot 
our cidzens for the season. During the past five or six 
years scarcely a flock has been seen. Partridges ( houesa 


mnhelliis) are plenty ; and the three notes in succession of 
the quail, frequently greet the ear of the husbandman. 

The crow is very familiar with the farms and fields 
throughout the town ; amid the improvements of the times, 
including the whistle of the locomotives, the ringing of 
bells, and the sharp crack of the breach-loading rifle, he 
flaps his wings in the face of commerce, and steals from 
the corn-fields as adroitly as an office-holding politician. 
The owl still assumes his wonted gravity, and jealous of 
"Old Probabilities," he heralds the storm with his three 
"hoo, hoo, hooas," in notes that reverberate among the 
hills. The migratory birds, the sweet forest singers of 
June, and the confiding creatures, which build their nests 
around the garden walls and near the habitations of man. 
and wake him to his morning duties, all appear in their 
season to cheer and gladden the human heart. 

At present the arborial productions of the town are 
principally white pine, pitch pine, three or four kinds 
of oak, hemlock, maple, two or three kinds of birch, 
chestnut, walnut, elm, ash and cherry.' The probability- 
is that eventually chestnut will become the most valuable 
timber of any to be found here. 

As a farming town, Townsend is inferior to Lunen- 
burg and other towns in Worcester county, but compared 
with the other joining towns, it is naturally as good, and 
better than some of them. The farms have been neglected 
so that agriculture is not a branch of industry of which 
the people are particularly proud. Too much attention has 
been given to the coopering business, to the detriment of 
good cows, cleanly cultivated fields, and well filled Ixirns, 
yet its inhabitants regard their lines as having "fallen in 
pleasant places, and' that they have a goodly heritage." 


The situation of the town is comparatively favorable 
for genial climatic influences. The first precursor of 
winter, in earnest, is seen on the powdered crests of the 
hills at the west and northwest, on the mornings which 
follow the cold. Thanksgiving rain storms. Snow appears 
in that direction, occasionally, two or three weeks before 
its appearance on Townsend soil. Certain changes in the 
air are noticeable in travelling to the northwest from 
Boston. In the spring, vegetation at Concord, a little out- 
side of the ocean air, is different from that at the tide- 
water. Commencing at the hills bordering Townsend on 
the west, another atmospheric change is noticeable ; while 
at the distance of twenty-five miles further at the north- 
west, there is considerable difference in the climate. At the 
same time the extremes of heat and cold are greater on 
the plains here, than either on our own hills or those at 
the northwest. The cold waves of air following up the 
Nashua and Squanicook to the Harbor Pond, cause that 
village and its surroundings to be the most freezing locality 
in town. The peach tree flourishes on the hills because 
the mercury does not otten fall to fourteen degrees be- 
low zero ; while below that point, the cold spoils the 
bud which contains the embryon of this delicious fruit. 
The mercur\' at the Harbor has been known to indicate a 
temperature of thirty-five degrees below zero. 

The provincial governor assumed the responsibilitv of 
giving names to towns and counties, which were generallv 
called for one of his intimate friends or some person of 
rank, or of the nobility. Whenever a charter for a town 
or "plantation" was granted, by the Assembly, if the Gov- 
ernor did not fill the blank left for its name, when he 


signed it, the Secretary of State would name it, frequently 
deferring to the wishes of the grantees. It appears that 
Townsend and Harvard were both chartered the same 
day, and that the Governor selected a name for the former ; 
and that the Secretary named the latter. It will scarcely 
be questioned that both of these officials showed good taste 
in their choice of names. The Governor named Town- 
shend in honor of Viscount Charles Townshend, His Maj- 
esty's Secretary of War, and his contemporary. The 
Secretary (a graduate of Harvard University,) chose the 
name of Harvard, in honor of John Harvard, the man 
who laid the corner stone of letters in the new world, who 
had been dead at that time nearly a century, no one know- 
ing the exact spot where his ashes were deposited. After 
the lapse of nearly another century ( 1828 ) the graduates 
of the university named for him, with filial regard and 
love for generous deeds, set up an appropriate granite 
shaft at or near his grave in Charlestown. 

His monument is the University which will live as 
long as there is anv enjoyment /« or remembrance of 
x\merican freedom. 

"Charles Townshend, second viscount, an English 
statesman, born 1676, died 1738. He succeeded to lijs 
title at ten years of age, and, soon after taking his seat in 
the House of Peers, attached to the whigs, to whose prin- 
ciples he remained faithful during his whole career. In 
1705. he was appointed one of the commissioners to treat 
for the union with Scotland, and in 1707, captain of the 
yeomen of the Qiieen's guard : and in 1709, in the capacity 
of ambassador extraordinary to the United Proxinces, he 
concluded the Barrier Treaty, for which he was denounced 
in the House of Commons in 171 2. as an enemy to the 


Queen and kingdom. The accession of George I. having 
brought the whigs into power, he was appointed one of 
the principal secretaries of state, and took the lead of the 
administration until the summer of 1716, when, owing to 
the intrigues of his colleagues in the ministry, Lord Sun- 
derland and Gen. Stanhope, he was dismissed from office. 
Upon the reconstruction of the Ministry in 17 21, he 
resumed his old position of state, Walpole becoming hrst 
Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
Walpole and Townshend quarrelled, and Townshend re- 
signed his office in 1730 and retired to his seat in Rainham, 
where he devoted the remainder of his life to rural pursuits. 
He was a man of ability, though an indifferent speaker, 
and left office, says Lord Mahon, 'with a most unblemished 
character, and what is still less common — a most patriotic 
moderation.' He was somewhat overbearing in manners, 
and of an impetuous and irascible temper."* 

About 1780, the town clerks and others began to spell 
Townshend by omitdng the // and giving it its present 
orthography. Thence till about 1800, the custom was to 
spell the w^ord both ways ; since which time the correct 
method of spelling has been abandoned, perhaps, contrary 
to the principles of good taste or justice. 

The first official census of Massachusetts was taken in 
1765, when the population of the State was only 238,423, 
a number not quite equal to two-thirds of the present inhab- 
itants of the citv of Boston. The population of the Com- 
monwealth in 1875. according to the decennial census, was 

* Eiicyelopiertia Americana^. 


1,651,912. At the different periods when the census has 
been taken this town has had a popuhition as follows : 








1 149. 

















This table shows a regular gain of inhabitants between 
each decennial return, the greatest being between 1830 
and 1840. Between i860 and 1865 the population was 
affected by the rebellion. The objective points of many 
people belonging to the rural towns of Massachusetts, are 
the large cities and the west. Of this number of fortune 
seekers and emigrants, Townsend has furnished its full 
share from time immemorial. 



Frequent Grants by the Assemblj'— Ilathonr.s Farm — Jonathan Dan- 
foith — Grant of two Towns on the westerly side of Groton west 
line — Pioceedino^s of the Conunittee assembled at Concord to 
grant out said Townships— Names of the Persons to whom Lots . 
AN-ere granted— Some Account of the Disagreement between the 
Proprietors of Dunstable and the North Town— Report of Sam- 
uel Danforth concerning the Condition of the North Town in 
1730— Charter of the Town of Townshend — Other Land Grants — 
Cambridge Grammar School Farm — Groton Gore — Location of 
the Province Line— Earliest Settlers known — Allotment by the 
Committee of the Proprietors — Account of some Early Settlers — 
Warrant for calling the I'irst Legal Meeting— Isaac Spaulding— 
Customs and Fashions of the Earlj"- Settlers — Proceedings at the 
First Meetings of the Proprietors— Proprietoi-s* Clerks — Modera- 
tors of the Meetings of the Proprietors — Influence of Concord 
Men in the Settlement of the Town. 

The incidents attending the settlement and progress of 
any New England town must be interesting to many people. 
Those persons who pass their lives at or near the place of 
their nativity are by nature patriots in the strictest sense. 
The history of their town, is nothing less than an account 
of the acts of their ancestors, their struggles with poverty, 
privation and oppression, under the greatest disadvantages. 
An eminent English jurist has said, that, "whoever does not 
look back to his ancestors will never look Ibrward to his 
posterity." The emigrants from our towns who have made 
themselves homes on the western prairies, men who are 


upholding" our flag wherever either commerce or diplomacy 
has ordered its presence, the tenants of some rude cabin on 
the Pacitic slope, all who have gone out tVom us and are 
now actors in the great theatre of merchandise, the sailor 
on his night watch and the missionary at the consecrated 
work, all ponder on the old birthplace with all-absorbing 
pleasure as time rolls along. It may be a question whether 
the lives of the "rude forefathers" who "hewed down the 
wilderness;" endured all tlie hardships of a frontier life; 
planted these colonies and gave to man "Freedom to wor- 
ship God," are not more entitled to our regard than are the 
men whose valor in the revolution freed us from tyrants. 
We must not forget the heroic acts of our people at all 
times, whether we consider their bravery during the long 
years of their undivided support of the principles contained 
in the Declaration of Independence, or tlie great eflbrt 
which placed that stupendous army in the Held which 
fought the decisive battles of the' rebellion. 

For more than half a century after Groton and 
Dunstable were chartered, all this region at the western 
borders of these plantations, of which Town send was a 
part, remained an unbroken wilderness. The most acces- 
sible lands on the coast of the province and along the 
fertile banks of the rivers were eagerly sought for by the 
puritans, while the rough and unpromising hills were 
unchosen and unoccupied by human beings. Even the 
Indians had no permanent abode in this vicinity nearer 
than Lancaster. The barbarities of the savages in 
murdering the inhabitants and burning some of the earliest 
settled towns during the Indian wars caused these pioneers 
to keep within easy distance of their garrison houses and 
prevented the spreading of the population. The territory 


of some of the oldest towns was purchased of the Indians 
for a few pounds of tobacco, some woolen blankets and a 
handful of worthless trinkets. The red man laid no claim 
to lands in Townsend. 

The General Court from 1660 to 1740 was liberal in its 
land grants with a view to foster the subduing and settle- 
ment of the province, in order to increase the number of 
churches and make room for "the learned orthodox 
minister." Lands were also granted for military and civil 
services rendered the government, and particularlv for 
educational purposes. As early as 1660, a tract of one 
thousand acres situated on the Souhegan river in the 
extreme northwest corner of Milford, New Hampshire, was 
granted to the town of Charlestown, for a "School Farm." 
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, of Boston, 
had a grant of one thousand acres of land which is now that 
part of the cit}' of Nashua, New Hampshire, just north of 
its central bridge and the factories. "Boardman's Farm 
lying near the centre of Lunenburg," a tract of six hundred 
and forty acres, was another of these grants. 

The lirst paper title to any land in Townsend was 
made on the sixth day of September, 1676, which conveyed 
to William Hathorn a mile square. 

From the printed records of the Colon}' of the Mas- 
sachusetts Bav in New England, September 6, 1676, vol- 
ume 5, page 104 : — 

Copy of a grant to William Hauthorn, known in the 
proprietors' records as "Hathorn's Farm," which is a part 
of Townsend. 

Layd out to the Wor^pft'^' William Hauthorn Esq. six 
hundred and forty acres of land, more or less, lying in the 


Wilderness on the north of Groaton river at a place called 
by the Indians Wistequassuck,* on the west side of sayd 

It begins at a great hemlock tree standing on the west 
side of the savd hill marked with H. and runns north and 
by eastf three hundred and twenty pole to a maple tree 
marked w*^'^ H ; from thence it runns West and by north 
three hundred and twenty pole to a stake and stones ; from 
thence it runns south & by west three hundred and twenty 
pole to a great pine in a little swamp marked w*'^ H ; from 
thence it runns east & by south to the first hemlock. 

All the lynes are rvnne & the trees are well marked. 
It contaynes a mill square and is lajd exactly square, as 
may be easily demonstrated by y*^ platform inserted vnder- 
neath & is on tile. 

Jonathan Danfortii, Survejo'- 

The court allows & approves of this returne so it inter- 
feres not w*'^ former grants. 

This William Hauthorn (sometimes spelled Hathorn, 
Hawthorn, etc) lived in the town of Salem and was a 
prominent man. He was a delegate to the Great and 
General Court several times and was Speaker in 1661. 
The town of Salem in 1661 ''voted that £10 shall be 
paid to Major William Hathorn the ensuing year, for 
training the foot company." This land was granted him 
for some ''extra service" done in the interest of the 

*Tlie word M'istoc|ii;i>,~nck in the hidiim laiiirii:mo sianilios the two pines, or the 
place of thr two piiH -. 'Plic' Mitlin-ra|iliy iiT ilic \\ ,inl i~ (lifVcrciU in diflerent records. 
It was geniT.illN -iiriii'il \i--c(|iia->i.-k. It will lir oIi-,tvc(| iVnni reading the grant. 
that the name \\a,~ aii|'lii-'l I" a paiiirular localitv and not to the whole town. The 
summit of this hill i.- visilile ai a tiicai di-taiicc li'oin the southwest, west, north and 
northeast, rrobably there weic two cxlraordinary pines on tliis hill, which served 
tlie aborigines as laiidmarks in tlnii- iomiic} - I roni' Lancaster and other i)laces to their 
tishing grounds at the conflucn<e oi the Na-lma and Merrimack. Coos, the name of a 
county in New Hampshire, signiiies in the Indian language the /;/«c»— Cohasset, the 
pine place. 

t Surveyed by a mariner's compass. 


The great hemlock which was the southeast corner 
of this grant must have stood at or near the house where 
the widow Benjamin Wallace now lives, the east line of 
the grant being at or near the west line of the road leading 
northerly from that place. The northeast corner of the 
same was at the distance of a mile from this point, 
northerly, on the west side of said road, the grant running 
a mile westerly from these two corners. The great pine 
at the southwest corner probably was a short distance 
northerly from the old burying ground. This location was 
undoubtedl}' selected b}' Hathorn's agent on account of the 
large amount of meadow or swale land* embraced within 
its limits. The people of those times had a large portion 
of their personal estates in horned cattle and sheep, and 
consequently' the eligibility of these lands that naturally 
produced grass. Nearlv all the meadow land in that 
vicinity was within Hathorn's mile square, and many deeds 
and records describe this tract as Hathorn's meadow, and 
the brook draining the same as Hathorn's brook. 

It appears that Major Hathorn was one of the most 
noted men of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and 
that he had more than a military popularity from the fact 
that he was sent to the mother country to represent the in- 
terest of the colon V. That his services were appreciated 
is apparent from the fact, that, in 1658, by a resolution of 
the Great and General Court, Block Island was "granted 
to J. Endicott, R. Bellinghem, D. Dennisson and Major 
William Hathorn for services to this country. "f It is worthy 

* There be likewise in divers places, great broad meadows, wherein grow neither 
shrub nor tree, but as much grass as may be thi-own out witli a scythe, thick and 
long. — Wood's History of New England. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. 4.i, page 70. 


of notice that the title and christian names of all these 
grantees, except Hathorn's, are omitted in this grant, while 
the ex-governors, one of whom probably made a draft of 
the resolntion, are simply designated by the initial to their 
christian names. 

We almost see Danforth, who, two hnndred years ago, 
then in the full vigor of manhood, taking his way from 
Groton, on horseback, with a servant and chainmen, pre- 
pared to fix the bounds of this grant. How keenly he 
scans the surroundings. The extent of one of the greatest 
meadows in this town, with its waving grass, all falls under 
his eye. Notice the firm step, the determined demeanor as 
he ascends the hill to the "'great hemlock marked" with 
the first steel ever held in the hands of a white man on that 
hill. From that stand-point see him peering through the 
trunks of the great forest trees, on that beautiful September 
morning to catch the outlines of the Watatic and neigh- 
boring summits. How exciting every prospect. All is 
buoyant. "This goodly land is a part of my country, a 
jewel in the crown of his most gracious Majesty." Alas, 
proud Englishman, one hundred years hence your King 
will loose these provinces, and when tzvo hundred years 
shall have passed away, the men of your native kingdom 
in company with youth and beauty, bringing the costly 
tabrics of a great nation, will cross the ocean to assist in 
celebrating the centennary of a generation of men. which 
"acknowledged no man master." 

The following descripti(m of Jonathan Danforth was 
taken trom a note by John Farmer, the distinguished anti- 


"Capt. Jonathan Danforth was born in Framingham, in 
the County of Suffolk, in England, 29 February, 1627, 
and probabl}^ emigrated to this country when young. His 
family connections were highly respectable. From an 
original letter of Governor Belcher in my possession, to a 
son of Mr. Danforth it appears that his family was related 
to the Governor. When the settlement of Shawshin 
(Billerica) commenced Mr. Dantorth was among the first 
settlers. He was chosen one of the first selectmen, and 
continued in that office twenty-one years. The records were 
made by him for about twent}' years. He was elected the 
first deputy to the general court from this town on record. 
From his eminence in surveying, he was frequently em- 
ployed in locating new towns and settlements in the 
Provinces of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The 
plans of his surveys were very numerous. There still 
remain a large number of them. While Mr. Danforth 
was justly celebrated for his eminence and distinction in 
mathematical knowledge, by a cotemporary, the most 
important part of his character is not concealed from view. 
His piety gave him the lustre which was most admired. 
A poem on his death, supposed to have been \n ritten by his 
nephew Rev. John Dantorth. of Dorchester, is still extant. 
The following extract, which I received verbalh' from 
Samuel Whiting. Esq., is all I have been able to obtain 
of it :— 

■ He rode the circuit:, chained great towns and farms 
To good behavior; and by well marked stations. 
He fixed their bounds for many generations. 
His art ne'er ftiiFd him, though the load stone fiiil'd 
When of by mines and streams it was assaiPd; 
All this is charming-, but ther's something higher 
Gave him the lustre which we most admire. 


"Then followed an account of his piety, etc., which are 
celebrated by the poet in the versification peculiar to that 

There is nothing of further interest to the town from 
1676 to 1719- Perhaps the "Native Americans" carefully 
examined the letter H cut in the great trees to mark 
Hathorn's corners, as they crossed here on the war path, 
but the deep silence of the wilderness remained unbroken 
by the sound of the emigranfs axe for more than forty 

The foundation of our municipal rights, and all the 
titles to the real estate in Townsend (except Hathorn's 
farm) rest on the following grant from the General Court in 
1 7 19, which was forty-three years after Danforth made the 
survey and plan for the mile square on Nissequassick hill. 
On account of the importance of this document, it is here 
presented to the reader, to show some of the views of the 
puritans in regard to their worldly wisdom and their judg- 
ment concerning education and religion : — 

■'Anno Eegni Regis Georgii Magn;« Britanni;v. &c. Sexto. 
^'At a great and General Court or Assembly for his Maj- 
esty's Province of the Massachusetts Ba}' in New England, 
begun and held in Boston, upon Wednesday, the tw^enty- 
seventh of May, 1719, and continued by Prorogation to 
Wednesday, the fourth of November, 17 19. and then met: 
being their second session. 

"Monday, December 7. 1719. 
"In the house of Representatives, the vote for granting 
two new towns \\ as brought down from the board, with 


Amendments, which were read and agreed to — And the 
said vote is as Ibllows, viz : — 

"Voted that two new Towns, each containing a Qiiantity 
of land not exceeding six miles square, be laid out in as 
regular Forms, as the Land will allow ; to be settled in a 
defensible manner, on the Westerly side of Groton West 
line, and that William Taylor, Samuel Thaxter, Francis 
Fulham, Esqrs., Capt. John Shipley, and Mr. Benjamin 
Whittamore, be a Commitee fully impowered to allot and 
grant out the land contained in each of the said towns, (a lot 
not to exceed Two hundred and fifty acres) to such persons, 
and only such as will effectuall}- settle the sarile within the 
space of three years next ensuing the laying out and 
granting such lots by the Committee, who are instructed 
and directed to admit eighty families or persons in each 
Town at least, who shall pay to the said Committee for the 
use of the Province, the sum of Five Pounds for each 
allotment, which shall be granted and allotted as aforesaid : 
and that each person to whom such lot or lots shall be 
granted or laid out, shall be obliged to build a good Dwell- 
ing House thereon and inhabit it ; and also to break up 
and fence in three acres of land at the least within the Term 
of three years ; and that there be laid out and reserved for 
the first settled Minister, a good convenient Lot ; also, a 
Lot for the School, and a ministerial lot, and a lot for 
Harvard College, of two hundred and fifty acres each, and 
that the Settlers be obliged to build a good, convenient 
House tor the Worship of God in each of the said Town^, 
within the term of lour years ; and to pay the charge of 
necessary surveys, and the Committee for their service in 
and about the premises ; and that the Committee give pub- 
lic notice of the time and place when and where they will 
meet to grant allotments. 

Consented to — Saml. Shute." 


The portion of "country land" taken to form these 
two towns was known to the people of the province as 
Turkey Hills ; referring particularly to the hills situated in 
the south, southwest and west part of these townships. The 
committee appointed to allot and grant these two townships, 
designated them as North Town and South Towm. From 
1 7 19 to 1732 all references to the territory which is now 
known as Townsend designate it as ''the North Town;" 
Lunenburg of course being the South Town. 

The Harvard College library contains the original 
manuscript record of the proceedings of the committee 
appointed by the Great and General Court to allot and 
grant the land in these two townships. Through the 
courtesy of John Langdon Sible}", w^ho while in office was 
one of the few men in New England who possessed all 
the learning and experience necessary for a librarian, the 
writer has had access to this manuscript, from which, that 
part relating to the North Town is here inserted in full. 
This manuscript, nearly a century and a half old, is 
exceedinoly interesting : — 

>=> J 

"Concord May y® 11^*' 1720 

"The Com^'^'' appointed & fully Impowered by y*' Great 
& Gen^ Court or Assembly of His Majesties Province of 
y® Massachusetts' Bay in New England at their Session on 
yc ,^tii Qf Dec. 17 19 To Allot & Grant out y'' Lands con- 
tained in Each of v^' Two Townships Last Granted by y^ 
Court Each Containing the quantity of Six Miles Squar 
Lying of. & contiguous to the Town of Groton &c. (x\fter 
public Notice Given) 

Meet at Conct)rd in y'' County of 
Midd""^ on Wednesday y'' Eleventh of May 1720 at y*" 
house of Mr. Jon"' Hoberd. In order to Grant out S'' Town- 


ships, Agreeable to y*' Order and Direction of y^ Gen-'' 
Court ( The whole of s^^ Com^ee viz W' Tailer & Samuel 
Tha.xter Esq'"', Capt. John Shipley Mr. Benja. Whittemore 
And Fra. Fullam Pe fent ) and accordingly Proceeded to 
Grant out f '^ Land to y^ Pefons whose Names are under 
written on y*^ other Sides, on v*^ Following Conditions & 
Provisions &c. Not otherwise. 

" i^^ That Each and Every p e fon to Whome a Lot is 
or Shall be granted (No Allottment To Exceed y*^ quan- 
tity of 250) shall be at y'^' Entering his Name with v'^ 
Com^^''" To Pay Down y^' Sum of Fifty Shillings* in part, 
and at the Drawing of His Lott, or when the same is Laid 
out y*^' Sum of Fifty Shillings more in full of y® Five 
Pounds for y^' use of y^' Province. And if any Pefon who 
enters his Name & Pays y'* First Fifty Shillings shall 
Negle(!:t or refuse to pay y*" Last Fifty to Compleat ^•^ five 
Pounds as ordered by y^ Gen-'' Court When his Lott is 
Laid out and Redv for Draft, Every such p efon shall 
Forfit his first Payment and y*^' Lott be Free to be granted 
to any other proper p efon as y'' Com'*^^' Shall See Meet. 

"2tiiy That Every Pefon to Whom Any Lott is or shall 
be granted Shall be and is Hereby Obliged to to Build a 
good Dwelling House On his s'^ Allotment & also break 
up & Sufficiently fence in thre acres of Land at y^ Least 
Within y*^ Term of Three Years after y'^ s'' Lotts are Laid 
out & Drawn. And so also pay & Do Each of their full 

* Each man paid one hundred shillings (old tenor) for his one-eightieth part of 
Townsend, which was about $'2.2'2. reduced to Federal money. The province received 
according to this $177.60 for the township of Townsend. "As many people of the 
present dav. wduM prdbablv Ibid it dinb-ult to determine the diflerence between 'Old 
Tenor' ami -Lawful M.m.-v;- il ina\ 1... -tatr,l 1i,t,. that in tin- year 17(li'. rccourM- was 
liad in tlie iinivinco t(. a iiaini- ,inicnr\ . t . -upiiint tlu- exiieiiM's of <;ovenuiit'iit, and 
furnisli a .-uli-titutc t(ir coin as a cin-iilal iiil;- im'.lium. 'I'he bills puriiorted that tliev 
would 111- rnlcriiicd at a certain time, whirh was done at, but it soon lu'c.auio cns- 
toniar\ lo nMhi^n them bv new cniis-i.m-. This being done pretty lilnTally, they 
began'lo di|ir(_''iate in value. In .Ma--;i'l,n-ctt - where their value was kc|it np better 
than in the other provinces, the depreciatiuu was at the rate of seve7i and a half for one 
in specie. This acquired the name of Old 7e«or— seven shillings and sixpence being 
equal to one shilling in silver, which was called 'Lawful money' or nin'epence sterling 
of Great Britain." 



Proportions Towards 3^^ building & Finishing a convenient 
House for y*^ Public Worship of God in Such Town Wher 
his Lot shall Fall, s'' House To be Finished in four Years 
according to y*" Order of Court, and Do also pay the 
Necessary Charge of y" Surve}'s and y'' Com^^® for Their 
Service in & about y*^ P mises. 

''3<iiy That Every Grantee to Whom to Whom a Lott 
is or may be Granted Shall be & is Enjoyned Effectually 
to Settle & Inhabit the Same in his Own prop^' p e fon and 
Not have Liberty In Any Way whatsoever to Sell or 
Alienate or any Ways Dispose of his Interest or Allottm* 
in Either of y^ s'' Towns to any p e fon What So Ever 
Until y® Whole conditions Enjoyned by y*" General Court 
be Fully complied with & Pe formed Without the Leave 
and Approbation of y^ Com^*'^ or the Majer part of Them, 
Nor to any p e fon or p e fons but Such as they Shall ap- 
pro\'e & to be Accepted by v*' Com^^'*^." 



£ s. d. 

I John Holden 

of Concord 


2 Henry Jones 

'' Concord 


3 Sam^ Biglo 

" Marlborough 


4 Thom« Ball 

" Concord 


5 Sam*"' Blond for his s 


" Concord 


6 John Jefts 

" Bilrica 


7 Jon"i Forbush 

•' Sutton 


8 Sam^i Grove 

" Westford 


9 Jam'* Farly 

- Bilrica 


10 John Holden for 1 

lis ; 


'' Concord 


II Jon^'' Whitney for 



'• Sudbury 


12 Bartholomew 

•• Worcester 


13 Thomas Baldwin 

'• Bilrica 


14 Joseph Stevens 

" Bilrica 


15 Samuel Sheldon 

'- Bilrica 


16 John Hay ward 

'' Concord 




17 Solomon Wvman 

18 Thomas Wvman 

19 Edw"^' Wyman 

20 Edward White 

21 Sam^ Jones for his son 

22 Jam*^ Bubbeen 

23 Benj Wyman 

24 John Simonds 

25 Jasher Wyman 

26 John Wyman 

27 John Lawrence 

28 Sam^ Proctor 

29 Timothy Adams 

30 J( 


31 Sam^ Davis 

32 Eben^^" Tailer 

33 John Fisk 

34 Thom^ Woods for his sonjosi; 

35 Jon"i Shed 
^6 Sam^ BilHngs 

37 Jacob Farrar 

38 W" Wheeler 

39 Solomon Woods 

40 John Colbith 

41 Nathl Smith 

42 W™ Laking 

43 John Holding 

44 Joseph Wright 

45 John Hunt for his servt. 

Nath^ Colburn 

46 Josiah Hale tor his son 

Josiah Hale 

47 Abra'" Wood 

48 James Minot Jiin. 

49 Edward Flint 

50 John Fox 

of Wooburn 

" Wooburn 

"■ Wooburn 

'•'■ Woburn 

" Concord 

" Woburn 

" Woburn 

' • Woburn 

"• Woburn 

" Woburn 

'* Lexington 

" Chelmsford 

" Chelmsford 

" Chelmsford 

" Chelmsford 

'' Dunstable 

' ' Groton 

!"• Groton 

" Groton 

" Concord 

" Concord 

'' Concord 

" Mendon 

"' Stow 

- Hadley 

" Groton 

" Groton 

" Concord 

" Concord 

'" Concord 

'' Concord 

" Concord 

" Concord 

" Concord 

£ s. d. 





51 John Perlin for his son 

£ s. d. 

Joseph Perlin 

of Concord 


52 Nath* Jones tor his son 


" Concord 


53 Joseph Fletcher 

'' Concord 


54 Sam' Fletcher 

" Concord 


55 Sam' Wright 

" Concord 


56 Joshua Hutchins 

'' Concord 


57 Benj=' Barron 

" Concord 


58 Edward Park 

" Newtown 


59 Sam' Randal Ju^ 

" Woburn 


60 Sam*^i Tenney 

- Bradford 


61 Timothy Harris 

•' Rowley 


62 Sam' Hale 

" Bradford 


6^ Joseph Plympton 


64 Mr. William Clark 


65 Francis Worsster Pd. to 

Capt Shipley 


66 Finehas Rice 

'' Sudburx' 


67 Sam' Gory 


68 Stephen Richard lor his son 



69 Jacob French for W'" Frencl 



70 Sam' Merriam for 

John Farrar 


71 Sam' Frail 

" Salem 


72 Caleb Blood 


£ s. d. 

The account of the meetings of these proprietors lully 
set forth their acts for the \ears 1720-22 up to June 1723. 
In May, 1723, the record shows a meeting ot' these men 
and that the balance of the live pounds was paid and 
receipted tor. Sanniel Jones, of Concord, w as the principal 
surveyor in establishina" the line between Groton and North 


Town. The cost of surveying this line "including ex- 
pense of the two committees, surveyor, chainmen and 
proper assistance," was £22 los. lod., or £11 5s. 5d. lor 
each of the new towns which now constitute the towns of 
Townsend and Lunenburg. The committee in describing 
their labors, in part say, '^We proceeded to the heap of 
stones on the easterly side of Nissequassick Hill, etc.,*' 
which clearly indicates that that corner had been previously 
considered and was fully established. 

Among the names in this proprietary list mav be found 
quite a number of men of considerable importance. 
Business men, those who were and those who had been 
members of the General Court, two or three members of 
the legal profession, three or four land surveyors, and 
others, of more than ordinary pecuniary means, constituted 
the first owners of Townsend and its appurtenances. 
Jacob Farrar and David Melvin were both with Captain 
Lovewell when he fell in the battle at Pequawkett, about 
the same time that Chamberlain of the same company, 
killed the stalwart chief Paugus. Melvin is known in our 
records as "Lieut. David Melvin," his lands being located 
in what is now the southerly part of x\shby. He must 
have been a brave man, coming from the Indian wars, as 
he did, with a commission. Jacob Farrar's land was on 
the extreme north end of Nissequassick Hill, near the state 
line, where his descendants settled ; and his posterity, 
although not numerous, are still among the inhabitants of 
this and the neighboring towns. 

A remarkable degree of shrewdness was exhibited by 
the committee appointed "to grant out and allot" these two 
towns. Every grantee was obliged "to settle and inhabit 
his lot," and did not have liberty "to sell or alienate his 


interest therein'' until ever}' condition was complied with, 
without leave of the committee "(M- the majer part of them." 
So far as conforming- to these restrictions, there is nothing 
to be found showing that the}' were carried out either 
in letter or in spirit, for only about one-ninth of the original 
grantees were ever botic Jidc settlers. The members of this 
committee and many grantees undoubtedly found it for 
their interest to abrogate part of these conditions, and made 
an advance on their five pounds b}' "putting in substitutes'" 
or selling out. There is not much recorded in regard to 
what transpired concerning this town between 1723 and 
1732. It appears, however, that there was a controversy, 
between the owners of Dunstable and the proprietors of 
Townsend, about the line between these towns, which con- 
tinued a long time. This was the reason that the town of 
Townsend did not obtain its full charter in 1728, at the 
same time that the boundaries of Lunenburg were made. 

It has a peculiar aspect when two frontier towns, the 
larger having "fifty householders''* or about two hundred 
and fiftv people, and the smaller, perhaps fifteen house- 
holders or about seventy-five people, the Ibrmer town 
containing more than two hundred square miles and the 
latter working on the promise of having thirty-six square 
miles, should "indulge" in a wrangle about eighty acres 
of land. Dunstable at that time extended from its north- 
east corner, "a great rock," in Londonderry, New Hamp- 
shire, southwesterly, diagonally across the town, to the 
northwest corner of Groton, which is a point in the line 
between Townsend and Pepperell about a mile (300 rods) 
south of the northwest corner of Pepperell. Thirteen 
ditferent towns, joining to and surrounding Nashua, New 

Fox's History of Dunstable, page U\. 


Hampshire, which is about the centre of the original 
"plantation" were either taken wholly or partly from the 
old township of Dunstable, now extinct, of which Town- 
send is one. 

In order that the reader may form a correct idea of 
the extent of the town of Townsend, when it was chartered 
in 1732, the following copy of a conveyance, taken from the 
proprietors' records, page 134, is here inserted. This hill, 
now called "Tanapas Hill," is situated just at the west 
of the village of Brookline, New Hampshire, and in that 
town. A line drawn west 32^° north from that hill, 
would not fall at a great distance south of the cemetery at 
Mason Centre. It will be noticed that the province line 
cut off a large portion of Townsend. which fell into the 
province of New Hampshire : — 

"Laid out by the subscribers to Capt. William Law- 
rence for part of his fourth division lot arising upon that 
grant in Townshend whereof the House Lot bares Number 
thirty-live, one hundred and titty acres of land lying on 
the easterly part of Massaquatanapass Great Hill, Begin- 
ing, at a white oak marked and running north thirtv-two 
degrees East to a stake and stones in the town line, thence 
turn a square angle and run on the town line East thirtv- 
two south Two Hundred and forty poles to a chestnut tree 
marked, then turn and run South thirty-two degrees west 
One hundred and twenty eight poles to a maple in a swamp 
marked for a corner. Thence turning and run West forty- 
five north two hundred and forty-eight poles to the white 
oak where we first begun as described in the plan — 
Bounded on the north side by the Town line and on all 
other parts on common Land. 

Amos Whitney ^ 

pr John Stevens Daniel Taylor >Cc 
Surveyor Nath' Richardson ) 

Surveyed March 8 1735." 


The extreme southwest angle of old Dunstable termi- 
nated in what is now Brookline, New Hampshire, at or 
near the east base of what is known in our records as 
"Great Massapetanapass Hill."' A direct line from this 
point to the northwest corner of Groton, before described 
(which was also a southwest corner of Dunstable), was, 
without doubt, the line between Townsend and Dunstable, 
so that considerable land now in the northeast corner of 
Townsend was within the limits of Dunstable. 

So exciting was this disagreement that it engaged the 
attention of the General Court, which appointed a com- 
mittee to survey the line between the two towns and report. 
The following is from the manuscript records of the Gen- 
eral Court for 1730 : — 

"Samuel Danforth, Esq., from the committee appointed 
bv the General Court to survey the North Town, etc., 
gave in the following report, viz : 

"The committee appointed bv the Great and general 
court on the 26th of Feb. 1730 to take a survey of a line 
between the North Town in Turkey Hills and Dunstable 
and to make a report whether the plan of the said North 
Town encroaches upon the town of Dunstable according 
to its true and allowed bounds, and what quantity of land 
it takes off from it, and also to make enquiry how tar the 
grantees of the said North Town have fultilled the condi- 
tions of their grant, and what settlements are there made, 
Report having (and pursuant to said order) repaired to 
said North Town (after due notice given to all concerned 
of the time of our coming) and having carefully surveyed 
tiie line aforesaid and full}' heard the parties therein, are 
humbh' of the opinion that the before mentioned plan of 
North Town encroaches upon the town of Dunstable, so 
as to take off tVom it four score acres of land, according . 


to what we apprehend to be the true and allowed bounds 
to said town. Having also carefully viewed the settle- 
ments in said North Town and made inquiries how far the 
grantees have fulfilled the conditions of their grant, we find 
that considerable improvements have been made on the 
lands there, and the greater number of the grantees (be- 
sides a convenient house which they have lately erected 
lor the public worship of God) have fulfilled the conditions 
of their grant by breaking up and fencing their lands, by 
building convenient dwelling houses on their lotts and by 
residing there. 

Samuel Danforth* 
in the name and b}' the order of the committee.'' 

This report is important not only in showing which 
party was wrong, but this is the only record which repre- 
sents the condition and progress of North Town at that 
date. Dantbrth's statement concerning the residence of 
the proprietors here must be received with some caution 
and allowance. Similar statements were frequent in those 
times. The petitioners of the North Town for a charter, 
in 1732, represented "that the town was completel}' filled 
w^ith inhabitants,"' when probably there were less than two 
hundred people in town. One of the conditions in land 
grants was, "Provided it doth not interfere w^ith any former 
grant." Dunstable received its charter in 1673. or about 
fifty years before anv man except Major Hathorn ou ned 
any Townsend soil. The North Town men found their 
east line bounded on Groton, running north 17^° east 
from Lunenburg corner, less than six miles long, so thev 
"interfered with a former grant" by pushing their north- 
east corner up into Dunstable, fearing that they would not 

*Soii of Jonathan Dantbrtli, survevor of Hathorn's Farm. 


get their six miles square as promised bv the act of 17 19. 
They desired and expected their east line running northerly 
from Lunenburg northeast corner, to continue "north 
seventeen and one-half degrees east," after reaching 
Groton northwest corner, and penetrate the town of Duns- 
table in that direction. In 1732, the General Court settled 
the matter fartly in the charter for Townsend by dividing 
the territory claimed by Townsend. between the two 
towns; but until 1741. when the province line was run, as 
will be seen by the charter, Townsend had no northeast 

" Charter of the Town of Townshend. 
Passed June 29th 1732. 

"Whereas the northerly part of Turkey Hills, so called, 
is completely filled with inhabitants, and who are now 
about settling a learned and orthodox minister among them, 
and have addressed this court that they may be set off a 
distinct and sep(a)rate town and be vested with all the 
powers and privileges of a town : 

"Be it therefore enacted by 
his excellency the governor, council and representatives in 
General Court assembled, and by the authority of the 
same, — 

"That the northerly part of Turkey Hills, as hereafter 
bounded and described, be and hereby is set otf and con- 
stituted a sep(a)rate township by the name of Townshend : 
the bounds of said township to be as followeth, \ict : 
beginning at a heap of stones at the north\^'est corner of 
Lunenburg : so running east thirty-one degrees and an half 
south, three thousand and fifty rods to a heap of stones in 
Groton line ; then bounded on Groton line, north seventeen 
decrees and an lialf east, one thousand four hundred and 


forty rods to a heap of stones at Groton north west corner ; 
iVom thence running due north, leaving eighty acres out 
of the plan, to the town of Dunstable : then running from 
Dunstable west line on province land, west thirty-one 
degrees and an half north, two thousand two hundred and 
forty rods, to a tree marked ; then running south, thirty- 
six degrees west, to the northwest corner of Lunenburg, 
where the bounds first began, one thousand nine hundred 
and twenty rods. 

"Provided, That nothing herein contained be construed 
to affect the rights of the proprietors of the land called 
Hathorn's farm ; and the inhabitants of the said lands as 
before described and bounded, be and hereby are vested 
with the powers, privileges and immunities that the inhab- 
itants of any of the towns of this province are or ought 
to be vested with. 

"Provided, That the said town of Townshend do 
within the space of two years from the publication of 
this act, procure and settle a learned orthodox minister of 
good conversation in said town, and make pro\'ision for 
his comfortable and honorable support. 

"In the House of Representatives June 29 1732 ordered 
that Mr. Joseph Stevens one of the principal inhabitants of 
the town of Townshend be and hereby is fully impowered 
to assemble and convene the inhabitants of said town to 
chose town officers to stand until the anniversary meeting 
in March next anv law, usage or custom to the contrary 

Sent up for concurence 

J. Qliincy, Speaker. 
In council June 30, 1732 Received and concured. 


June 30th, 1732, consented to, J. Belcher." 


From this grant it appears that Townsend acquired, 
in 1732, about tifty-two square miles of land instead of 
thirty-six miles as contemplated by the act of 17 19. Per- 
haps this liberality is traceable to the fact that some of the 
members of the General Court were part owners of "the 
North Town." Its north and south lines were parallel, 
the north line being some shorter than the south line. 
"Dunstable west line on the province line" (the southwest 
corner of that town) was about two and one-half miles 
further west than a line drawn north from Groton north- 
west corner, so that the north line of Townsend must have 
been more than nine miles long, and the south line more 
than nine miles and one-half. Probably it was the inten- 
tion of the Assembly that the proprietors of Townsend 
and Dunstable should agree upon a point for a northeast 
corner of Townsend, which was to be legalized at a future 
period. Here is an agreement or obligation of a com- 
mittee of the Dunstable proprietors in regard to the line 
between the two towns, copied from the Townsend pro- 
prietors' book : — 

"We the subscribers a committee for the proprietors 
of the town of Dunstable do promise and oblige ourselves 
in the name and behalf of the Town and proprietors afore- 
said unto the committee for the North Town, viz : Joseph 
Stevens, Joshua Fletcher, Andrew Spaulding, Jonathan 
Melvin, Timothy Heald, Joseph Willard Esq., and William 
Law^-ence, that if it so happens that the line dividing 
between North Town and Dunstable, be established by the 
general court further west than the line already run by 
North Town, the Town and proprietors shall contirm all 
such the land bv sucli line to the North Town as an 


equivalent for such land or equal quantity into the town- 
ship of North Town in one mile. 

"Witness our hands this twelfth day of Oct. 1731. 

JoN^ Hubbard Henry Farwell 

Ruth Hubbard Joseph Blanchard"* 

The men constituting both of these committees were 
the most prominent proprietors of these old townships. 
Three of the North Town committee were actual settlers 
here. Joseph Blanchard was a man of wealth, and exten- 
sively interested in land. 

Without knowing more about this controversy than 
can be learned from the Townsend proprietors' records, it 
is difficult to explain the meaning of the obligation above 
quoted. The records of the proprietors of old Dunstable 
during the year 1731 are lost, so that nothing further of 
interest concerning this matter can be found. Probablv 
this is the interpretation of the document : — 

North Town insisted on a boundary line running in 
the same direction of the Groton west line, north 175^° 
east. Dunstable objected to this infringement on her 
chartered rights, but for the sake of harmony, agreed that 
if the dividing line should be drawn by the Assemblv 
"further west" than the line which Townsend persistentlv 
asked for, then all the land at the west of the line established 

* "Joseph Blanchartl (born iu Dunstable 1705, died 1758) was appointed by manda- 
mus, one of tlie counselloi-s of New Hampshire in 1740, and sustained that office till 
his death. He was (li.-tinsui-hcil ;is a kind surveyor, and in conjunction with Rev. 
.Samuel Lanari 1(111. ini'iiared ,i inap of New llainiiMiire. which Was published in 17G1, 
being inscribed to llcm. Charles 'I'ciw n-lieiid. his >[aiestv's secretarv at war. and one 
of his privy <:omicn:'— J StlJ: nap'. < llUt. X. 11. . p. :',i.). 


by the General Court, for the distance of a mile, north of 
Groton northwest corner^ should be given up to the North 
Town proprietors. In 1748, writs of ejectment were served 
on Isaac Farrar and Jasher Wyman by which they were 
dispossessed of lands situated in Brookline, New Hamp- 
shire, at the northwest of Groton northwest corner. These 
two Townsend proprietors were obliged to give up their 
lands which rightfully belonged to the township of 

Among the ancient plans and maps in the office 
of the Secretary of State, at Boston, is a plan of a 
tract of land containing one thousand acres, lying for 
the most part in old Dunstable, in what is now^ the south 
part of Brookline and the northwest part of Pepperell, a 
small angle of which pierced Townsend, granted as 
"Cambridge grammar school farm." This was in i734- 
The plan shows "Massapetanapus Lower stream" and one 
or two of its tributaries, one from Towmsend, its westerly 
line running five hundred and seventy-five poles on 
Townsend line. The Dunstable people soon notified the 
Assembly of this interference with their grant, and the 
next year the Cambridge school farm, was relocated "on 
the northerly side of Massapetanapass Great hill," partly 
in Mason and partly in Brookline. A map of this tract of 
one thousand acres may be seen in the Secretary's office, 
at Boston. In 1736, the Assembly ""granted to Benjamin 
Prescott,* in behalf of the proprietors of Groton for losses 
of land taken to make adjoining new towns, ten thousand 
eight hundred acres of land lying on the west side of 

'Assembly l•ec•ol•dt^, vol. Hi, iiagc :5;W. 


Dunstable, beginning at Dram Cup Hill, by the Souhegan 
river, which was the northwest corner of Dunstable, and 
running south on Dunstable line two thousand one hundred 
and fifty-two poles to Townsend line, then making an 
angle and running west 31}^° north on Townsend line 
and province land, two thousand and fifty-six poles to a 
pillar of stones, then turning and running bv province 
land north, 31 1/^° east, two thousand and fort}' poles to 
Dunstable corner first mentioned." This was surveyed 
and plan rendered by Jonas Houghton, and is known 
as "the gore between Townsend and Dunstable." This 
gore is now the easterly parts of the towns of Mason and 
Wilton, New Hampshire. Special reservations are in this 
grant of which the following is parenthetically inserted. 
"(Excepting the one thousand acres belonging to the 
Cambridge School Farm and therein included.)*" 

The running of the province line in 1741 settled man\- 
disputes about land titles and certainly "was a great public 
benefit." New Hampshire received a fresh impetus in 
civilization by acquiring from Massachusetts twenty-eight 
new townships besides large tracts of vacant lands inter- 
mixed. When this line was determined the politicians of 
Massachusetts were exceedingly angr}' and dissatisfied. 
Dunstable by this new line was severed in two parts about 
equal, suffering much by having its little village sundered 
and left in two provinces. 

Townsend lost nearly one-third of its territory by this 
line, but found a northeast corner of the town located con- 
siderably south of the point for which it contended. Parts 
of . Brookline, Mason and New Ipswich, in New Hamp- 
shire, were then taken from Townsend. 

The proprietors of Townsend felt much uneasiness, on 


account of the loss of their lands caused by the running 
of the province line in 1741, which left more than one- 
fourth of their township in New Hampshire. At two or 
three different times they petitioned the Assembly ibr 
redress on account of their loss. From the proprietors' 
records is extracted the following : — 

" At a meeting of the proprietors of the common and 
undivided lands in the township of Townshend, legally 
assembled at the house of Mrs. Sarah Conant, Inn-holder 
[the house is still standing at the southerly end of the dam 
at the Harbor] in said Townshend, upon Tuesday the 
twenty-sixth day of February 1765 at twelve o'clock on 
said day. 

"Colonel James Prescott being chosen Moderator for 
s'^ meeting. 

" i^y. Voted to choose a committee of three men to peti- 
tion the Great and General Court of this province for a 
recompense for lands taken away from the proprietors of 
Townshend by the late running of the Line of the province 
of New Hampshire ; and that Colonel James Prescott, 
Capt. Jonas Prescott and Lieut. Josiah Sartell be a com- 
mittee fully impowered for that purpose." 

Soon after, when the General Court assembled, these 
three men appeared before a committee which reported 
favorably to their wishes, and at that session of the 
Assembly it "Granted a township, somewhere at the east- 
ward of the Saco River, six miles square to the Town- 
shend proprietors and others, tor military services and 
other losses and services."* 

A clause in the grant specitied that one sixty-fourth 

'Mass. Archives, vol. 118, page 147 


part of this township was to be appropriated to settle a 
minister — one sixty-fourth part for the ministry — one sixt}- 
fourth part for the benefit of Harvard College — was to be 
settled within six years from the date of the grant, and a 
plan of the town to be returned to the General Court 
within one year. 

"Granted to the town of Townshend 102 12 acres 
T3-ngs-town 380 •' 

"• " Nathaniel Parker 260 •• 

John Sheple 286 acres," 

and to others whose names are not here quoted. 

There is nothing on record to be found showing that 
either the Townsend proprietors or any of these grantees 
ever received a dollar from this grant, or that it was ever 
plotted and a plan returned agreeably to the terms of the 
charter. The difficulties attending the settlement of a new 
town — its great distance from the grantees — the revolution- 
ary struggle, all combined, probablv were in the wav to 
prevent the proprietors from making this grant available. 
In May, 1786, the following article was in the town 
warrant: "To see if the town will choose a committee to 
take care of the land that is granted them by the General 
Court in compensation lor land cut off by New Hampshire 
line, or sell the same." A committee was chosen at that 
town meeting to sell the same, but nothing is turther 
recorded concerning the matter. 

The town of Ashbv was chartered in 1767. It was 
taken from the towns of Fitchburg, Ashburnham, and 
Townsend. About two-thirds of its territory was taken 
from Townsend. The onlv alterations in the lines of 


Townsend, since it was chartered, were caused by the 
establishing of the province line, in 1741, and the making 
of the town of Ashby, in 1767. 

The east end of Townsend was surveyed and laid out 
into two divisions, sometime in 1723 or 1724. For the next 
three 3'ears, four or five of the proprietors from Concord 
and Woburn were busily engaged in felling the trees and 
making helds during most of the time, exxept the winter 
seasons, which they passed with their Iriends in these 
towns. This temporary residence broke the wilderness 
and prepared the way for a few families. 

It is said that the wife of John Pat* was the tirst 
person, of her sex, who settled in the North Town. The 
town records confirm this tradition, from the fact that the 
first birth found on record reads as follows : "Jonathan 
Pat, son of John and Mary Pat born Jan 5 1728." With- 
out much doubt, this son of John and Mary was the first 
child born in this town. John Pat's log-house was about 
half a mile easterly from the parsonage house on a road 
leading to the south end of Nissequassick Hill. 

The descendants of this family are, at present, to be 
found in Framingham, and some of the towns of Worces- 
ter County. The wife of Henry Sceva, formerly a citizen 
of Townsend, was one of this family. 

The records of the town of Groton contain the follow- 
ing : "Ebenezer Ball, son of Jeremiah Ball, born in North 
Town, June 22, 1729." Mr. Ball li\'ed about one-third of 
a mile northeasterh' from the Harbor, at the corner made 

*This name in the town records is spelled Pat, Patt, Patts. Pett and Petts; the last 
method is the one now in nsc. The town clerks in this and the neighboring towns 
were cxticniily careless in rc^'.inl to proiicr iiaincs: Anstin was "Astin." Hildreth was 
"lIiMnck," S;i\\t,.|| \v,-i- '-Sartcl." :M-c(inlini;- t'l till' (ircilon town clerk; in the Mason. 
N. II., ncnnis we (iml "Alcf lor Kllicitl. •iinl BciiJ:iinin Dix, a brother of onr Rev. 
Sanmt'l l)i\, i< iliil)licil witli tlic luniit' <ir "Bcnianiii'i Decks." 


by the crossing of the two roads leading over the hill, at the 
left hand side going towards Pepperell from the Harbor. 

There were at first two divisions of land laid out, 
running northerly from the river, by the line of Groton, 
across the east end of the town. In 1733, a third division 
was made which extended nearlv two miles west from 
Groton line. The east end of the house lots abutted on "a 
six rod way running nearly north and south," or the road 
now leading over the hill. The west end of the lots of 
the second division also abutted on this road, which was 
the longest highway laid out by the proprietors, now in 
use. Soon after, lands south of the Squanicook, to 
about the same distance westerly from Groton line, were 
surveyed and lotted. The proprietors made ample reserva- 
tions for roads. Almost every deed closed with this 
sentence : "There is also an allowance for a way whenever 
the town shall think it necessary." No matter how 
rugged and precipitous, marshy or ledgv, whether the land 
included Rattlesnake Hill or the rough peaks in northern 
Ashby. that ubiquitous "allowance for a way" was sure to 
be present. The road entering the northeast corner of the 
town, running nearly south for a short distance, tiien turn- 
ing easterly, and running about halt-wa}' from the state line 
to the Harbor, to the point where one road turns towards 
Pepperell and another westerlv, was the road between the 
first and second divisions, then laid out. Ver}' few of these 
roads contemplated were ever made. K. road, to these 
settlers, was a path between two rows of marked trees, 
generally- "two poles" wide but often "four poles" wide. 

No original proprietor, according to the terms of the 
court's committee, could hold more than two hundred acres 
in one body, although he had a right to one-eightieth of all 


the land in North Town. A lot in these divisions contained 
about tiftv acres. These were called ''original house lots." 
There were more than one hundred lots in these three 
divisions, and it was determined by lot or chance where 
each man's lot should be located. Nothing could be more 
fair than this method. After this drawing, when the fourth 
and fifth divisions were laid out, the second tiftv acres or 
more would be exchanged by these men with each other, 
so their lands were more in one body. Sometimes if any 
proprietor was not present at a drawing or other method of 
giving each man his share of the "common and undivided 
lands," a committee composed of men of their number and 
choice, and sometimes a committee appointed by the Gen- 
eral Court, would designate the lot. 

At this distance from that period, not much being a 
matter of record, it cannot be expected that the precise 
location of the lands and houses of many of the first set- 
tlers can be designated ; and if it were practicable, trom 
the necessity of the case, any language or description that 
might be quite intelligible to people now living, would 
perhaps be obscure and without meaning to those who are 
to be the future men and women of Townsend. Some of 
these men are worthy of particular notice. 

Jasher Wyman, the clerk of the proprietors for more 
than twenty years, was a man of more than ordinary ability. 
His chirography and his phraseologv were both excellent. 
He lived in what is now Brookline, on the east side of the 
road from Townsend to that town, on the second lot north 
of the state line. He owned and operated a saw mill there, 
the first ever in Brookline. When the province line was 
established, finding himself out of Massachusetts, and 
taxed to support a minister in "Dunstable west precinct" 


(Hollis), although he was strongly attached to his home 
and neighborhood, he left there and located in the southerly 
part of the town, on land which he acquired in his original 
two hundred and tifty acres. He was a man of good 
judgment and greatly respected. 

Capt. John Stevens lived near the brook running 
from Hathorn's meadow. He came from Groton and had 
a residence here for a number of years, being an inn- 
holder. Some of the regularl}' called meetings of the 
proprietors were at his tavern. He was a land surveyor 
and the owner of the most acres of any person in this 
vicinitv. His estates were in the towns of Mason, Town- 
send, and Groton. He owned at one time most of the land 
on both sides of the river, for about a mile from each bank, 
from the Harbor to Groton line. He was a justice of the 
peace and had considerable influence in town affairs. 

Ephraim Sawtell came from Groton, and his house 
and land were on the north side of the Harbor pond, his 
lot extending northerl}- to Jeremiah Ball's land. He was 
strictly puritanical in his views and acts. He was modera- 
tor at several of the proprietors' meetings. 

Timoth}' Heald li\-ed in the south part of the town, 
on the road leading from the tirst bridge above the Harbor 
pond, near the top of the hill where a traveller first begins 
to lose sight of the Harbor, going towards "South Row." 
Tradition informs us that he was not onlv a noted hunter, 
but that he was posted on the localities of certain mines, of 
which everv one, besides himself, was entirelv io-norant. 
Nothing further is known of him except that he was in 
charge of a log-house made in a defensible manner against 
losses by the incursions of the Indians. One of these 
castles was located north of the Harbor and overlooking 


the same, and another near the meeting-house on the hill, 
and the same tradition further saith that the log-houses 
and mill, where the Harbor now stands, and the direct 
surroundings were called " the Harbor,'" because by signals 
from these three points in case of the appearance of any 
"red skins," the settlers could soon reach these places of 
safety. One other fort, or garrison, as they were called, 
of the same kind, was located on the southwest side of Ash 
Swamp, in the west corner of the road leading northerly 
across said swamp, which intersects with or starts from the 
main road from Townsend to Ashby. 

Joseph Stevens, who was empowered b}' the act of 
incorporation to call the first proprietors' meeting was a 
man of sterling integrity. He lived on the second lot on 
the road leading from Jeremiah Ball's house (formerly 
described), northeasterly, at the base of the hill, near 
Pepperell line. It has been said, that to the extent of 
about one-eighth, he had Indian blood in him. 

John Wallace,* his brothers, and nephews, were 
Scotch Irish. They settled on the hill which has had an 
Indian name in this work, better known as Wallace Hill, 
at the present da\-. They were men of great physical 
strength and endurance. On the arrival of three of these 
brothers at Boston, some one told them of Townsend and 
its white oak timber, and advised them to choose this place 
to locate in. They were coopers, and introduced that 
branch of industry into this town. This business has, from 
that time to the present, brought more money into Town- 
send than all other industries added together. The de- 

* The land nil wliicli -Tolm Wall.Mco settled was ;i iiart of Hatlioni's lanii. ami he 
took his a.Til IVniii ..lie, TIm. 111:1^ niillips, in 17:U. His lo<r-liou^<' stood on tlie west 
side of "the -i\ rod w.iv, ruiiniim- iicirlv north and south'" (which passed by the east 
side of JIathorn'- nide s.|nare). ahoni eiiuidistanl from tlie northeast and southeast 
corners thereof. 


scendants of the Wallaces are still among and of the 
most respectable people in this and adjoining towns. 

William Lawrence, not only had a considerable part 
of his father's land (John Lawrence, of Lexington,) in 
North Town, but he bought and owned extensive tracts in 
the northern part of the town. No one man, except John 
Stevens, and Daniel Taylor, possessed so many acres. 
His name appears first in the list of grantees of the town 
of Mason, New Hampshire, (granted 1749,) where he 
owned nine of the two hundred farms into which said town 
was surveyed and allotted. He served on most every im- 
portant committee appointed by the North Town proprie- 
tors. He was born in Groton and always resided there. 
He was a prominent and popular militarv man, holding 
the office of Colonel in the Militia for a number of years. 
In civil life, he was first a justice of the peace, then justice 
of the peace and quorum, afterwards promoted to a seat 
on the bench of the Court of Common Pleas for Middlesex 
County. He represented Groton, ^^■ith the districts of 
Pepperell and Shirley, in the General Assembly of the 
province of Massachusetts, several dmes. He possessed 
excellent judgment, a benevolent disposition, and unfeigned 

For some reason unknown to the writer, Joseph 
Stevens waived his riw^ht of callinij^ the first meeting of the 
proprietors after the incorporation of the town, and this 
duty devolved on Benjamin Prescott, Esq., of Groton, in 
manner as follows: — 

"Middlesex ss. 

"To John Stevens of Townshend in the County afore- 
said one of the proprietors in the common and undivided 


lands in the Township of Townshend in the County afore- 
said Greeting. 

"Whereas Col. Josiah Willard, Joseph Stevens, Thomas 
Phillips by his attorney Isaac Farnsworth, Josiah Wil- 
lard of Boston Esq., by his attorney Josiah Willard 
Esq., William Lawrence and yourself, one of the pro- 
prietors of the common and undivided lands in Townshend 
aforesaid, have made application to me Benjamin Prescott 
Esq. one of His Majesties Justices of the Peace for the 
county of Middlesex aforesaid for a Warrent for the calling- 
of a meeting of the proprietors of the common and undi- 
vided lands to be held at the Public Meeting House in 
Townshend aforesaid on the last Monday of July current 
at eleven of the clock in the forenoon, to the end that 
being dulv mett and formed they may then and there elect 
and choose a clerk lor the proprietors aforesaid. Also agree 
upon and order the laying out into lotts and dividing the 
land remaining undivided in said town, to and amongst 
the proprietors aforesaid, or such part thereof and in such a 
way and manner as may be thought best and be agreed on, 
and choose and empower proper persons for a committee 
to manage and perform the same, and give them such 
instructions and directions for their proceedings therein as 
shall be thought tit. 

"Also to hear and examine the claims of the proprietors 
aforesaid to any interest in the undivided lands aforesaid, 
and if they see cause to choose a committee for that pur- 
pose, and also order proper records to be made up of the 
grants and rights of lands in said Town. 

"Also to hear and examine the accompts of the several 
committees or persons employed for or in behall of the 
proprietors aforesaid for their trouble or expense in or 


about any of the proprietors' business, and of any mone}' 
resting in their hands due to the proprietors, and order 
payment of any money that may be found due to any per- 
son for any service by them done for the proprietors, and 
choose and empower proper persons to call and oblige any 
person so employed to render such accompt if need be. 
Also to agree upon and appoint some proper way and 
method for calling and warning proprietors meetings in 
Townshend for the future upon any proper occasion. 

"These are therefore in His Majesties name to require 
and command you to notify the Proprietors of the common 
and undivided land in Townshend aforesaid that they 
convene and meet at the time and place above mentioned, 
then and there when met and formed according to law, to 
proceed, conclude, determine and linish the several matters 
and things above mentioned as the occasion and business 
of the said meeting, and to the end the proprietors afore- 
said may have tiie better knowdedge of the said meeting 
you shall post up a Notification in Writing expressing the 
time, Place and Occasion aforesaid of the said meeting in 
some public place in Townshend aforesaid, fourteen days 
before the day appointed for the meeting as aforesaid. 

"Hereof tail not, and have you this Warrant with 
your doings thereon at the said meeting. 

"Given under my hand and seal at 'Groton July 7th in 
the sixth year of his Majesties Reign anno que dominie 

Benjamin Prescott 

Justice of the Peace" 

Hon. Benjamin Prescott, was born in Groton, 1696. 
Butler, in his historv of Groton, savs : "He was a man of 


superior mental endowments and of commanding appear- 
ance." He was the father of Col. William Prescott, who 
was partly in command at the battle of Bunker Hill. He 
represented Groton most of the time from 1724 till his 
death. In 1724, he was a justice of the peace, then only 
tw^enty-eight years old, afterwards he was a justice of the 
peace and quorum, and in 1735, he was appointed a judge 
in the superior court. "In 1738, the year of his death, 
he was appointed to represent the Province at the court of 
Great Britain, which office he declined, giving as a reason 
that he had never had the small-pox. Hon. Edmund 
Quincy w^as appointed in his stead and died in his mission, 
of the same disease which Mr. Prescott so much feared 
would prove fatal to himself. By over-exertion in saving 
some hay from a shower, he became surfeited, and died in 
August, 1738, in his forty-third year.'"* This gentleman 
had much influence in encouraging the settlement of 
North Town. His judgment w^as almost always con- 
sulted in matters affecting proprietary interests. His lands 
were on Nissequassick Hill. 

Daniel Taylor lived on the west side of the road 
leading from the Harbor to Lunenburg, about half a mile 
southerly of the garrison previousl}' mentioned. The house 
he occupied during the latter part of his life, which he 
built, one of the oldest in town, weather beaten and cor- 
roded by the tooth of time, is still standing and occupied. 
The lands, on both sides of the road, belonging to this 
estate have been sold piecemeal, with the exception of 
about four acres on which this old unpainted liouse stands. 

Prescott Memorial, page 10. 


Longfellow could see poetry in every decorative moulding 
attached to these ancient gables. 

"In that mansion used to be 
Free hearted hospitality.'' 

It was once elegant, costly in its finish and eligible in 
its location. Joy at the advent of the helpless infant, the 
solemn words"! do" and "I will"' at the marriage, and the 
suppressed moaning of the survivor of the departed, have 
all been echoed by the shrunken panels on those quaint old 
rooms. He owned land in fourteen different places in this 
town, besides being possessed with a good amount of prop- 
erty. He owned more slaves than any other person in 
town. There were then here five or six families who had 
negro servants.* 

Capt. Taylor, "of the training band," buried three 
wives, leaving the fourth a widow at his decease in 1783. 
One of his daughters, by his second wife, Sarah, married 
Deacon Daniel Adams, in 1772, and was the mother of 
Daniel Adams, M. D., author of the Scholar's Arithmetic. 

Isaac Spaulding, came from Chelmsford, and bought 
the proprietary right of his oldest brother. Deacon Andrew 
Spaulding, who was also one of the original proprietors of 
New Ipswich, New Hampshire. He settled on the south 
side of the Harbor pond. He was a man of influence and 
the first Deacon of the church in Townsend, being one of 
the selectmen several times. The place where his son 
Jonathan settled, near the southeast corner of the town, was 
Andrew Spaulding's second division, and it still remains in 
the same family, the present being the fifth generation : 

*-'Phillis, a servant of John Stevens, born Xov. -26, 17.V2. Annie, a servant of 
Benjamin Brooks, born 11'^."— Town Records. 


Isaac, Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonatlian, Sarah H., the present 
occupant and one of the heirs. This and the Emerv phice 
are the only locations in this town known to have remained 
in the hands of the descendants of the first settlers. 
Zackeriah Emery, hroke the wilderness. Zackeriah, John, 
Joel, and Charles, the only male heir. Deacon John. 
Spaulding, (died 1866, aged 72,) was a great-grandson of 
Deacon Isaac. These Spauldings are and were a robust, 
intelligent people, honest and upright in every particular, 
and somewhat noted for their longevity. Without doubt, 
more persons by the name of Spaulding have been born in 
Townsend and made it their "continued abiding place," 
than those of any other name. 

"The Spaulding Memorial," a book recently published 
and in the possession of many by that name, renders it 
unnecessary to pursue further any notice of persons of that 
name. The Townsend Spauldings are all descended from 
Deacon Isaac Spaulding. 

It may be considered unimportant b}' some readers 
and critics, that so much has been said in this work con- 
cerning the tirst settlers of this goodly town. But when 
distant generations shall come and ask of the past, and 
search lor traces of their pilgrim ancestry, e^■ery local 
historv now extant, every sketch in the annals of any 
town whether small or great, wherever located, and by 
whomsoever settled, will be perused with iresh interest. 
In reviewing the povertv and hardships of our forefathers, 
it would be well to consider some of the advantagrs within 
their reach. One thing especially favorable to them was 
the pro(lucti\'eness of the soil, never before laid under con- 
tribution by the husbandman. This \\as "Turkey Hills, 
North Town." Wild game was abundant, wliich. together 


with the cattle, swine, and sheep, made our ancestors a 
carnivorous, rather than a "carnally minded" people. Of 
wild beasts, the onl}- one particularly inimical to their 
interests, was the wolf. A price was set upon his head for 
years. The Indians and the wolves expected no quarter 
from the settlers, there being considerable difference in the 
price paid for the heads (or scalps) of each. Capt. 
Lovewell and his men received one hundred pounds for 
every Indian scalp wherever taken, while the bounty paid 
by the settlers was "ten pounds, old tenor, for every wolf 
killed within the borders of the town, during the year." 

Certain persons were chosen annually to fire the 
woods to destroy the trees, that grass and luxuriant plants 
might spring up for cattle, sheep, and horses. Swine ran 
free, preying indiscriminately on nuts, acorns, and berries. 

The method of travelling in those times, was somewhat 
slower and surer than was either pleasant or convenient. 
Oxen hitched to an awkward, clumsy, two-wheeled vehicle, 
as an apology for a cart, were used to convey parties to 
church, to weddings and evening entertainments, when- 
ever the roads were suitable for that kind of locomotion. 
Should the objective point be at a distance, and the "way" 
rough, horseback travel was the style. Two or three 
persons would go to church riding on the same horse. 
The husband, wife, and one or two children, would mount 
from a horse-block, when, all would "go up to worship" 
in a "tabernacle," rude and uncouth, yet "how amiable" to 
these parents. The library of most every family, except 
the "learned orthodox minister of good conversation," con- 
sisted of the Bible, the Psalter, a few pamphlets, and some 
well read religious books. As manufacturers, it can only 
be remarked that the use of the spinning-wheel, brought 


over bv the settlers of Londonderry, New Hampshire, 
in 1 7 19, must have been known and used generally by 
these people. Their implements of husbandry and agri- 
culture must have been extremely unhandy, and continued 
so for a long time. The exemplar}-, moral character, of 
these descendants of the pilgrims, must not be overlooked. 
Our ancestors not only believed in integrity of character, 
but thev lived as they believed. * Bancroft bears this 
testimony to the early character of New England, in whose 
honor it is our right to share, that "the purit}" of morals 
completed the picture of colonial felicity. One might 
dwell there from 3'ear to year and not see a drunkard, or 
hear an oath, or meet a beggar. I have dwelt," he adds, 
"the longer on the character of the early puritans of New 
England, for they are the parents of one-third of the white 
population of the United States. Their descendants (in 
1834), numbered not far from lour millions. Each family 
has multiplied, on an average of one thousand souls." 

At the first legal meeting of the proprietors, called by 
Benjamin Prescott, July 31, 1732, Edward Sherman was 
chosen moderator, and Jasher Wyman, clerk. 

"Voted to proceed to a third division of land in said 
town and lay out to each proprietor sixty acres of land 
and qualify the same, excluding all meadows, and that 
Timothy Heald, Shadrack Whitney, Jasher Wyman, Ens. 
Jonathan Page, Joseph Baldwin, Amos Whitney, and 
Daniel Ta}-lor, be a committee to lay out said lands, and 
that each proprietor draw for his lot when laid out." 

It was the intention of these people that there should 
be as fair and equitable a division, as possible, among the 

Volume 1, page 4G7 


propriety, of all the swale lands or meadows in the town. 
Lands are designated in the records in three different w^ays : 
''His original or house lot which bears No. — " &c., "His 
Second," "Third," "Fourth," &c., "division lot," and "His 
meadow lot," the last of which were sometimes in parcels 
as small as three acres. There were one hundred and 
sixty grantees under the proprietors, some having lands in 
ten or twelve different parts of the town. There are about 
seven hundred and fifty titles to land in town to be found 
among these records. At the same meeting, July 31st: — 

"Chose a committee to examine the claims of the 
proprietors." "Adjourned to the first Tuesday in Novem- 
ber next." At the adjourned meeting, "chose a committee 
to examine the accompts of the several committees that 
have been betrusted with any business for the proprietors." 

Josiah Willard, Esq., and Lieut. William Lawrence 
"were added to the committee to lay out the third di- 
vision." A vote was also passed whereby any five pro- 
prietors, petitioning their clerk in writing, could call a 
meeting of the proprietors. In June, 1733, "the com- 
mittee chosen to examine the accounts of the several 
committees and persons employed in and about the several 
services done for the proprietors of said town," reported 
that the proprietors were in debt one hundred and four 

Whereupon "Voted to assess a tax of one hundred and 
fifty pounds, to be proportioned according to each pro- 
prietors' respective interest, and to be appropriated in 
paying the above mentioned sum of one hundred and four 
pounds and other necessary charges." 

"Ephraim Sawtell, John Stevens and Daniel Taylor 
were chosen assessors." 


At this meeting, "Voted also by said proprietors, that 
they would allow and have allowed, unto Henry Parker 
and Henry Richardson, who built the meeting house in 
said town the sum of fifteen pounds to ease their hard 
bargain in building said meeting house, to be paid to them 
out of the proprietors' stock." 

Voted, "that John Stevens, Amos Whitney, and Na- 
thaniel Richardson, be a committee to inspect the common- 
and undivided land in order to preserve the timber for the 
benefit of the proprietors." 

"Voted that the selectmen of the town be empowered 
to lay out places convenient to the meeting house for 
building horse stables, so they may the least incommode 
the common." 

These equestrians housed their horses quite snugl}- 
closing the doors of these "stables" against the wintry 
storms, while they, themselves, their wives and daughters, 
were engaged in worship in a building almost as rayless, 
chilly and forbidding as were the buildings in which they 
left their beasts of burden. They scarcely needed a society 
for the prevention of cruelty to animals, when the horses 
were so much better cared for, in proportion, than were 
the members of their own families. 

Meetings of the proprietors for the first ten years afl:er 
the incorporation of the town, called by their clerk, by 
posting notices or warrants in the public places at Groton, 
and Concord, besides "a notice placed on one of the pillars 
of the State House at Boston," were frequent. There 
were only occasional meetings for the last half of the cen- 
tury, ending December 31, 1799, and then only for selling 
and locating the limited amount of lands not previoush' 


The last meeting of the proprietors was called "at 
the dwelling house of John Shipley inn-holder in Town- 
send Sept i6 1822," more than one hundred years after 
the line was run between Groton and North Town. 

John Shipley's tavern was the same building that is 
now used for a hotel at Townsend Harbor, and it has been 
a public house ever since. At this meeting, among other 
acts, "Voted to close our proprietors' matters and to have 
our book of records and plan deposited with the town as 
prescribed by law in such cases. 

Joseph Adams* 

Daniel Adams* 

Proprietors' Clerk" 

The committee appointed bv the Assembly- "to allott 
and grant out" North Town were among the influencial 
men of the province. Francis Fullam, the clerk of this 
committee, made some mistakes at their first meeting. 
"Bartholemew of Worcester," should have been Barthole- 
mew Jones of Worcester, and again, "Stephen Richard 
for his son Joseph," should have been Stephen Richard- 
son for his son Joseph. There were seven Richardsons. 
grantees here before 1737 (proprietors' records), among 
which we find the name of "Stephen Richardson for his 
son Joseph" in the index of said records. There undoubt- 
edly w^as considerable enthusiasm and good feeling on 
that May morning when the committee met, at the old town 
of Concord, to do this work. The noise attending this 
unusual gathering, the large number present, together with 
the surroundings of Jonathan Hoberd's "inn," might have 


been the cause of these and other unhnportant errors. 
It may be of interest to some to know the fact that the kind 
of Nathaniel Colburn, the servant of John Hunt, of Con- 
cord, the original proprietor, was in part, the farm now 
owned by the heirs of the late Joseph Haynes, deceased. 
From this and other circumstances, we may infer that the 
relations existing between master and slave, in this prov- 
ince, one hundred and fifty years ago, must have been 
much more creditable to the "superior race," than was that 
slavery made null and void by the great rebellion. 

The following is a list of the clerks of the proprietors 
and the years during which they served : — 

Jasher W3'man, from 1732 to 1756. 
Jonathan Wallace, from 1756 to 1775. 
James Locke, from 1775 to 1786. 
William Hobart, from 1786 to 1790. 
Daniel Adams, from 1790 to 1822. 

These men possessed a fair amount of literarv ability, 
and the records which they made will compare very 
favorably in every particular with those of their contem- 
poraries in our neighboring towns. 

Jonathan Wallace wrote a delicate hand, almost 
feminine, but remarkably legible. 

At a meeting of the proprietors in January, 1775, — 
"Voted to dismiss Mr. Jonathan Wallace as proprietors' 
clerk, and have chosen James Locke in his room," and 
at the same meeting — "At the request of Jonathan Wallace 
it was put to vote to dismiss him in all the offices he sus- 
tained in the propriety of Townshend as a committee man, 
and chose Mr. Lemuel Petts in his room in all said 
offices." Tiiis was from political motives as will be ex- 
plained further along in this work. 

According to the record, Mr. Locke, "being about to 


leave town," tendered his resignation (1786), whereupon 
the proprietors passed the following, which is the only 
complimentary vote in their whole records : — 

"Voted the thanks of this propriety be returned to Mr. 
James Locke, late clerk, for all his good services, and that 
Mr. Daniel Clark be a committee to inform him thereof." 

There thus appears a great disparity between the 
popularity of these two men, whereas one might have 
been equally honest as the other. Mr. Locke had but 
little to do as clerk, "the heat and burden of the day"" 
being borne by Wyman and Wallace. 

A list of the moderators of the meetings of the pro- 
prietors, and the years during which the}' held the office, 
is here inserted : — 

Edward Sherman, 1732 ; Josiah Willard, 1733 : 
Ephraim Sawtell, 1733, 1735, 1754. 175^; Samuel Ken- 
dall, 1733; WilHam Lawrence, 1734. 1735, 1736, 1737. 
1739; Isaac Farnsworth, 1734; Daniel Taylor. 1748: 
James Prescott, 1765, 1766; Josiah Sartel, 1767, 1768, 
1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, 1775, 1780; Lemuel Petts, 1784, 
1801 ; William Hobart, 1786; Oliver Prescott, 1790; 
Jonas Prescott, 1793 ; Levi Kemp, 1797 : Joel Adams. 
1808 ; Joseph Adams, 1822. 

Meetings were often adjourned from time to time, so 
that moderators frequently presided at a meeting a year 
or two from the time of their election. 

Among the inhabitants of Concord, were some of the 
leading men of this province, at the time of the settlement 
of Townsend, and onward. 

December 6, 1737, "a township east of the Monadnock 
hills, on the southern branch of Contoocook river," was 
granted to Samuel Hay ward, and others, of Concord. 
This township was afterwards principally owned by Peter 


Prescott,* of Concord, who was a large landholder and 
speculator. To the influence of Concord men may be 
traced much of the success of Townsend when taking its 
place among the towns of "the Massachusetts Bay." 

Our limits forbid anything further concerning the 
settlers and founders of this town, quite a number of whom 
were military men, some holding commissions under the 
King, and again under the Commonwealth, when our in- 
dependence was the objective point. 

Something of an incomprehensible character comes 
down to us from these bold and intrepid men. They ap- 
pear almost within the environment of romance, rather 
than struggling for homes where they could enjoy ''free- 
dom to worship God." Some barrier, alwa3's overcome, 
generally interposed between them and success. A wil- 
derness w^as displaced, and in its stead Ceres and Pomona 
smiled in the sunlight. A savage foe lurked around their 
cabins and garrisons, but "the annointed children of edu- 
cation were too powerful for the tribes of the ignorant."" 
And when, after a long time, they began to enjoy the 
fruits of their labors, and hymns of gratitude ascended 
from their altars, their king taxed them beyond their endur- 
ance and compelled them to draw the sword. Then came 
"the tug of war," in which they were again victorious. 
Would that the photographer's art could reach back and 
give us the forms and features of these brave men. But 
like the knights of olden time : — 

•'Their swords are rust, • . 

Their bones are dust, 
Tlieir souls, we trust. 
Are with the just." 

* Tradition 8ay.s that Peter Prescott, dining the time he passed at Peterborough 
lived in a semi-subterranean cave, snugly ensconced in an abiiipt hillside with a 
sunny outlook: and that his Concord friends, and the land speculators, would talk 
about '-Ppter's burrow," of "going up to Peter's burrow,"— hence Peterborough or the 
name of the town. 



Settlement of Rev. Pliiuehas Hememvay. the First Minister of Townsend 
— Memoir of him by Rev. Mr. Temple — Cliurch Covenant written 
by Mr. Hemenway — Aceonnt of Servants (negroes) belonging 
to the Church— Church Discipline— Owning the Covenant— New 
Lights— Character of Mr. Hemenway— His Death— Settlement of 
Rev. Samuel Dix — Account of liis Pastorate — Sample of his 
Eloquence — Action of the Church at the decease of Rev. Mr. 
Dix — Ordination of Rev. David Palmer — Character of Mr. Palmer 
as an Educator— The Unitarian Excitement and Withdrawal of 
Mr. Palmer from the Town Meeting-house— Account of the Latter 
Part of his Life— Pastorate of AVilliam M. Rogers — Pastorate of 
Columbus Shumway — Pastorate of David Stowell — Pastorate of 
Luther H. Sheldon— Pastorate of E.W. Cooke — Pastorate of Moses 
Patten — Pastorate of George H. Morss — Pastorate of Henrj' C. 
Fay — Ordination of Albert F. Newton — Names of the Deacons — 
The Unitarians and Their Ministers— The Methodists. 

These descendants of the pilgrims, as soon as pos- 
sible, placed themselves within the sound of the gospel. 
Unfortunately for the writer, the records of the town, for 
the hrst two years after its incorporation, are lost ; so that 
it is impossible to give as full and particular account of 
the settlement of our tirst "learned, orthodox minister," as 
is desirable. 

Their house of worship had been btiilt three or four 

years before a minister was ordained within its walls. 


There is no record of the dedication of this building. 
Neither do we know who were the candidates who came 
to speak to these people, who were about to establish a 
cinirch here. Tradidon informs us that the setders, before 
they had a minister, were accustomed to go to Groton on 
the sabbath to hear Rev. Mr. Trowbridge, travelling by 
couples (man and wife), on horseback, and crossing the 
Nashua River at " stony fording place," where the bridge 
now^ is between Pepperell and Groton. Frequendy men 
went on foot the same route and for the same purpose. 

At a town meeting in March, 1734 : "Voted that they 
would choose a committee of three to purchise a lot for 
the minister." 

This ''minister" was the Rev. Phinehas Hemenway, 
whom they had invited to be their spiritual adviser, and 
the "lot," which the committee "purchised," was situated 
about a quarter of a mile northerly of their meeting-house. 
The "call" to this gentleman is not to be found, but on the 
eleventh page of the town records is recorded Mr. Hemen- 
way's answer to such a solicitation, which is as follows : — 

"To the Inhabitants of the town of Townshend July the 
22, 1734. 

"Gentlemen: Having received from 3'ou a call to 
setde in the work of the evangelical ministry among you. 
These are to inform you, that, after serious consideradon 
of the great work to which you have called me, and I 
hope, fervent prayer and supplication to the throne of 
Grace for Divine assistance in so great and important an 
aftair, although it be wdth a trembling soul, yet, I dare not 
withstand so plain a call from God and his people, but 
humbly manifest to you my acceptance thereof. And 


inasmuch as great difficulties and disturbances have hap- 
pened in some places of this land with respect to ministers 
salaries through the alteration of our medium of trade or 
Bills of Credit ; to prevent future trouble or wrong upon 
either side which may arise upon that head, I desire and 
expect that the value of our province bills from time to 
time may be ascertained and secured, and that by a proper 
vote of the town. Praying God to direct, guide and bless 
all of you and all your motions and endeavors to settle 
Christs ministry and ordinances among you; withal, en- 
treating your prayers to the throne of Grace for me, I take 
leave and subscribe myself ( with thanks for the many 
kindnesses and respect you have shown for me) 

"Your souls friend and Humble Servant 

Phinehas Hemenway" 

Mr. Hemenway was ordained on the third Wednesday 
of October, 1734. He lived on the hill where the meeting- 
house stood, on the east side of the road, about hfty rods 
northerly of that location. 

At a town meeting on the 29th of July, 1834 • "Voted 
that they would ascertain the bills of credit for Mr. Hem- 
enway's salary as silver money at twenty-five shillings per 
ounce, and that the said stated salary shall alter in propor- 
tion as the value of silver alters with the goldsmiths and 
merchants of the town of Boston." 

It will thus be seen that the town, in a kindly spirit 
and with much alacrity, acceded to the reasonable sug- 
gestion of their pastor elect, who, with considerable 
worldly wisdom, foresaw a depreciation in the currencv. 
Mr. Hemenway's salary was "stated" at £100 per annun, 
increasing five pounds each year till it reached £130. It 
appears by the town records, that from 1740 to 1759 ^'^^^ 


salary varied from £140 to £210. In 1746, the town 
"Voted to choose a man for a committee to ask Col. Brattle 
[a Dunstable man] and Mr. Trowbridge [the minister at 
Groton] their opinions relating to Mr. Hemenway's salary,'" 
His salary for that year was £170. In 1747, it is put on 
record at £210, showing that their "opinions" favored an 
increase of his pay, undoubtedly owing to the depreciation 
of the scrip then in use. For a part of the time his yearly 
pay was from £35 to £40 "lawful money," instead of the 
"old tenor" currency. He received also £100 as a settle- 
ment, or with which to commence house-keeping. 

The Rev. Mr. Temple, of Framingham, furnishes 
the following brief sketch of the lirst minister of Town- 
send : — 

"Rev. Phinehas Hemenway, was born at Framingham, 
April 26, 1706. He was the son of Joshua and Rebeckah 
Hemenway, of Roxbury. The father settled in Framing- 
ham in 1691, and was one of the founders of the church 
of Christ in this town, Oct. 8, 1701, at which dme he was 
chosen deacon. He had enjoyed the advantages which 
Roxbury aftbrded and received a superior education, for 
the time. He was town school-master in 1706. He was a 
man of decided convictions and earnest piety. 

" In doctrinal belief, he agreed with Edwards ; in 
church polity, he was a strict congregationalist, as opposed 
to the presbvterian tendencies of the day. He took a firm 
stand in favor of the revival under Edwards and White- 
field, and was known by and shared the confidence of, 
such men as Rev. Messrs. Sewall and Prince of Boston. 
He was an acknowledged leader in the civil affairs of the 
town ; was deputy to the General Court, 171 2, 17 17, and 
held manv important offices of trust. Phinehas, the son. 
grew up under tiie influence of such a home, and was 
o-raduated at Harvard College, 1730. No traditions as to 


his person or character are preserved in the family. He 
was the first native born son of Framingham to graduate 
at college, and was elected master of the grammar school, 
at the close of his senior year. He commenced teaching 
July 27, and continued in the service one year, for which 
he received the sum of £50." 

It is not known that any of his sermons were printed, 
and in fact none of his writings have been preserved, 
except what is contained in the first book of the church 
records, the first part of which is in his chirographv. 

The church covenant was the first record made in this 
book by Mr. Hemenway. This being all that we have 
from his pen, it is thought quite pertinent to insert it 
here in full : — 

"Townsend, October 16, 1734. Then there was a 
church gathered in this place and the covenant whicli 
was submitted to and subscribed by the persons as 
follows : 

"We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, inhabi- 
tants of y'^ town of Townshend in New England, appre- 
hending ourselves called of God into the church state of 
the gospel, do first of all confess ourselves unworthy to be 
so highly favored of the Lord and admire that free and 
rich grace of His which triumphs over so great unworthi- 
ness, and an humble dependance on free grace for divine 
assistance and acceptance &c, do in the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ freely covenant to bind ourselves solemnlv in 
the presence of God Himself His holy angels and all his 
servants here present : — 

"i. That we will choose to take y*" Lord Jehovah to 
be our God, and we promise, depending upon the grace of 


God for assistance, to fear Him. cleave to Him in love and 
to serve Him in truth with our hearts, giving up ourselves 
to be his in all things ; to be at his direction and disposal, 
that we may have and hold communion with Him as mem- 
bers of Christs mvstical body according to his revealed 
will, to our lives end. 

"2. That we will bring up our children and servants 
in the knowledge and fear of God. by his holy instruction 
according to our best abilities, and in special by the use of 
orthodox catechisms, that the true religion may be main- 
tained in our families while w^e live, yea and among such 
as shall live when we are dead and gone. 

"3. That we will keep close to the truth of Christ 
contained in the sacred scriptures ; endeavoring with Godly 
zeal to defend it against all opposers thereof as God shall 
call at any time ; and we therefore resolve to take the 
Scriptures as our sole nth- and guide in all things and not 
the nnscriftiiral inventions of men. 

"4. That we will have a careful inspection over our 
own hearts, so as to endeavor by the virtue of the death of 
Christ, to effect the mortification of all our sinful passions 
and disorderly affections, whereby we may be withdrawn 
from the living God. 

"5. That we will laithfully improve our abilities and 
opportunities to w^orship God according to the institutions 
of Christ under the gospel administration, as continually 
and reverently to attend upon y'" public worship of God. 
and to have communion with our fellow members in the 
use of both the seals of the covenant of Grace, Baptism 
and the Lords Supper. 


"6. That we will peaceably submit to the holy disci- 
pline as approved by Christ in his church for offenders, 
and we also engage that we will obey those that rule over 
us in the Lord. 

"7. That we will walk in love toward our 'fellow- 
members endeavoring their edification, visiting, exhorting, 
comforting (as occasion serveth) and warning any brother 
or sister walking disorderly, nor divulging private offences 
irregularly, but heedfully following the precepts laid down 
by Christ for church dealing in Math. ch. 18, vs. 15, 16, 
17, willingly forgiving all that we refer to the judgment 
of charity that they truly repent. 

Phinehas Hemenway John Wallis 

Joseph Stevens Samuel Manning 

William Clark Jacob Baldwin 

Nathaniel Tailor Samuel Clark 

Daniel Tailor John Slowen 

Joseph Baldwin Benjamin Tailor 

John Stevens Isaac Spalding 

James McDonald Jeremiah Ball" 

Soon after the organization of the church, some of 
the wives of these men, and others of the same sex, were 
received into the church. Among this list, we find "On 
March nth 1739 Sarah Hemenway y*^ wife of y^ Rev. 
Phinehas Hemenway, having received a letter of dis- 
mission from y® church of Southboro was received into our 
church fellowship and communion." 

During Mr. Hemenway's pastorate which covered a 
period of some more than twentv-six years, the church 
increased in numbers from sixteen to seventy-nine. The 
letters of recommendation, bv which members were 


received, during Mr. Hemenway's ministry were from the 
churches in Chehnsford, Andover, Southboro, Billerica, 
Hopkinton, Lunenburg and Groton, in Massachusetts, and 
Nottingham West, Greenhind and New Ipswich, in New 

"Townshend Jan. 26, 173*, then was received into 
the church Mary the wife of Lieut. Daniel Taylor." 

An explanation of the figures in this record, made by 
Mr. Hemenway, may be of interest to some readers. The 
manner of the change from Old Style to New Style, is 
substantially and summarily as follows : — 

The Julian year consisted of three hundred and sixty- 
five days and six hours — making the year too long by 
about eleven minutes. Pope Gregory XIIL, in 1582, at- 
tempted to reform the calendar. From the time of the 
Council of Nice to the time of Gregorv, this excess of 
eleven minutes amounted to about ten days. To make it 
all right, it was ordered that the year 1582 should consist 
of only three hundred and sixty-five days, and that ten 
days, between the fourth and fourteenth of October, should 
be expelled from the calendar for that vear. To prevent 
any further discrepancies it was also ordered, that no year 
commencing a century should be leap vear, excepting 
each four hundredth year. This method set aside three 
days every four hundred years, at the rate of nearlv eleven 
minutes per year during that time, leaving an error of only 
one day in five thousand two hundred years. 

Before the time of Gregory, the calendar was ar- 
ranged by Julius Cajsar. This was the Julian period or 
Old Style, the Gregorian being known as New Style. All 
Romanist countries adopted the New Style immediately. 


Great Britain, and her colonies, from prejudice against 
and hatred of anything of papal origin, did not adopt the 
New Style till 1752, or one hundred and forty years after 
the ingenious alteration by Gregory. Before 1752 Eng- 
land had two methods of beginning the year. The histori- 
cal year began on the first of January — the legal and 
ecclesiastical year on the twenty-fifth of March. The 
change of style adopted by Great Britain, in 1752, fixed 
the first of January as the commencement of the year, and 
abolished the distinction between the legal and historical 

The difference in the commencement of the respective 
years, led to a system of double dating from the ist of 
January to the 25th of March, — sometimes January 26, 
1734-5 or 1734, the 4 denoting the legal, and 5 the his- 
torical year. By our present method of reckoning, there- 
fore, Mrs. Taylor, was admitted into the church February 
6th, 1734. 

The church book of records, with the exception of a 
few pages, is in the hand writing of Mr. Hemenwav and 
his successor in the ministry. It contains a full and 
accurate account of the names of the church members, 
and the time when each' became such, the baptisms ad- 
ministered, and the marriages performed by each of these 
pastors, together with some examples of church discipline. 
This book shows the customs and state of society, as 
well as the fidelity with which our fathers adhered to their 
church covenant. 

"On December 14th 1735 was baptized Andrew Not- 
grass a servant child of William and Eunice Clark." 

"On May 19th 1745 Ama a Negro servant of Mr. 
Benjamin Brooks was received into full communion with 
the church of Christ in Townshend." 


"On September 4th 1737 was baptized, David the child 
of Robert and Sarah Avery on her account." 

"July 13 1740 vv^as baptized Bette the daughter of 
Robert and Elizabeth Campbell, after he had owned the 
baptismal covenant." 

The practice of "owning the covenant," man}^ in- 
stances of which are recorded, consisted in permitting 
persons publicly to give their assent to the creed of the 
church, "or own the covenant" as it was styled, which 
gave them the privilege of presenting their children for 
baptism, but not of communion. These persons did not 
necessarily profess any moral or religious qualifications of 
membership, but simpl}^ an intellectual assent to the creed, 
and were sometimes styled "half-way members." They 
were not subject to the discipline of the church, but some- 
times, when admitted to these limited privileges, were 
required to confess an open fault or oftence. These con- 
fessions upon the old records of the church do not prove a 
"full communion," as is sometimes supposed, but may refer 
to either method of admission. The term "admitted to 
full communion" showed a square standing on the church 
platform, while "owning the covenant" only indicated a 
partial adherence to the church for the sake of securing 
the benefit of baptism for their children. 

"Whereas Ceesar a negro servant of Mr. John Conant, 
a member of the church of Townshend has for sometime 
[ been ] in a disorderly and schismatical way withdrawn 
and separated from the communion and public worship of 
said church, to the breach of his solemn co\enant engage- 
ments, when he joined in full communion with said church, 
and to their great grief and ofience, which practice of his 
tends to the dissolution and destruction of this church and 
the order of the gospel among us. 


"Said church therefore met December i8 1751 to con- 
sider and act upon this case, and after prayer to God for 
direction and assistance and hearing what he had to say 
in vindication of his conduct, in writing and by word of 
mouth, the church voted unanimously : 

"i. That Cccsars misconduct in separating from the 
communion and worship of our church in Townshend is 
in our judgment matter of public scandal. 

"2. Voted that until said Cassar gives good grounds 
of repentance for his misconduct, we suspend him from 
our communion." 

It would have been interesting if "CcCsar's Commen- 
taries" on his secession from the church had been spread 
upon the records along with the above account. 

"At a church meeting June 9th, appointed to reconsider 

the case of Mrs. , recorded in 23d and 24th 


"Voted I that after several years consideration and 
much consultation among ourselves and with others, 
respecting the case, and having free converse with the said 

Mrs. , this day, and receiving some new light, 

we see cause to retract our former judgment and restore 
her to the privileges of partaking with us ; and with regard 
to some difficulties attending the case, we submit them to 
God and her own conscience. 

"2. That she be advised to examine herself diligently 
to see if there was not some iniquity in her conduct in the 
said affair. Accordingly she was advised in the name and 
presence of the church." 

We can conceive of nothing that comports more 
strictly with the teaching of Christ and his immediate 
followers than this simple act. Men, who thus put them- 
selves squarely on record and live in the same manner that 


they teach, can use the whole ot' the Lord's prayer, in- 
including "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those 
who trespass against us." 

About the time of Mr. Hemenway's settlement here, 
the distinguished reformer, John Wesley, came to the 
theological surface, causing a ripple co-extensive with 
Christendom. The English church, united with a pam- 
pered and proud nobility, contained vice and corruption in 
their worst forms. A writer thus describes the situation of 
affairs at that period: "Deism had crept into the univer- 
sities ; the established church was filled with men who 
made religion a profession, and had won the highest prizes 
of the church by the acts of the politician and the grossest 
forms of intrigue. No one in fact supposed it was wrong 
to buy a deanery or clamor for a bishopric ; that it was 
necessary for prelate or priest to be a christian ; or to live 
in abstinence and go about doing good. The people were 
left in ignorance and vice, the cottages were filled with 
want and blasphemy. The bishop's palace was often the 
haunt of fashionable revelry, and the bishop's chief aim, 
to save from his vast income a sufficient sum to leave his 
sons in opulence and marry his daughters to titled 

The remarkable elocutionary powers of Wesley, to- 
gether with his sublime faith and unostentatious life, gained 
for him an audience from all grades and conditions of 
men. His efforts made a lasting impression, favorable to 
the cause of morality and true piety. Perhaps no man 
was ever his peer in arousing the vicious, gaining their 
confidence, and inducting them to a life of peace and 
religious consolation. 

In common with all reformers his fame soon spread 
abroad, and this Oxford graduate, whose eloquence was so 


irresistible, soon had admirers and imitators among the 
sons of Harvard College. Some of the most influential 
among the clergy, in this vicinity, embraced the "sensa- 
tional" style of preaching, among whom were Mr. Bird, 
of Dunstable, New Hampshire, and Mr. Bliss, of Concord. 
These men were called at the time New Lights. The 
people in both these towns were exceedingly agitated 
in this matter. The town of Chelmsford was "infected 
with lay-exhorters ; and distracted by such persons [ the 
revivalists] preaching in private houses without the consent 
of the stated pastor."* 

Mr. Bird encountered a bitter hostility, and soon 
moved out of the town, while the disagreement among 
the people and church members ended only with their 

In Concord, town meetings, church meetings, and 
ecclesiastical councils, were held in quick succession, their 
object being the displacement of Rev. Daniel Bliss, who 
was a New Light. All these movements failed to accom- 
plish what was intended, for Mr. Bliss had a "mouth and 
wisdom which all his adversaries could not gainsav or 

George Whiteheld, a co-worker of Wesley, and a 
noted preacher, came over from England and visited 
Concord. He was so impressed on hearing Mr. Bliss 
preach that he said, "If I had studied my whole life, I 
could not have produced such a sermon. "f This was the 

* AUeu's History of Chelmsfoiil, page 116. 

t "In the Boston Evening Post, of March, 1743, is published a letter from "'a gentle- 
man of iinqnestionable veracity, in Hopliinton." giving an account of a sermon, 
preached there by Mr. Bliss, in which it is said : "He began in a lovr, moderate strain, 
and went on for some time in the same manner; but towards the close of his sermon, 
he began to raise his voice, and use many extravagant gestures; and then began a con- 
siderable groaning amongst his auditors, which as soon as he perceived he raised his 
voice still higlu'r, and then the congregation were in the utmost confusion; some 
crying out in tlic most ilolol'ul accents, some howling, some laughing, and others 
singing, and ^Nlr. l'.lis>, still niaring to them to come to Christ— they answering—/ luill, 
I will, I'm coiniiif/, I'm cominy. — History of Concord. 


last appearance of Mr. Bliss in the pulpit, and his last 
sermon. He died of consumption in just one week from 
that time, in comparison, as much lamented then as he was 
censured during the six or seven years of heated contro- 
versy through which they had passed. 

The church of Townsend, and its pastor, kept aloof 
from all these difficulties, which fact alone is sufficient to 
establish the wisdom of the conservative position taken by 
Mr. Hemenway during his pastorate of more than twenty- 
six years. It may be said that he lived in strict conformity 
to the covenant which he drew when the church was 
gathered. From the information within reach it appears 
that he was of exemplary character, social in his intercourse 
with his people, averse to all dogmatical controversies, 
both in and out of the pulpit, and determined only "to fight 
the good fight of faith." His mind from boyhood craved 
the mathematical, perhaps at the expense of the polishing 
and inspiring influences of poetry and literature. He 
seldom attempted to move his audience by oratory, and if 
it cannot be said that "truths divine came mended from his 
tongue," yet it is a well established fact, that he was a very 
acceptable preacher of the gospel, and that he enjoyed the 
confidence and esteem of his contemporary brethren in the 

He married Mrs. Sarah Stevens, of Marlborough, 
May 8, 17391 who survived him, and in October, 1761, 
married David Taylor, of Concord. 

There has nothing come down to us from those far 
back colonial times, no record soiled bv the breath of the 

* At the ordination of Rev. .Toshiia Goodhue, over the second parish in Dunstable, 
Mass., on the 8th of .June, 17o7, "The Revd. .Josei)h Emerson, of Peijperell, began ye 
Solemn Kxercises of vt Dav with Prnver: The Kevd. Daniel Emerson, Preached ve 
Sermon from I.ukc -Jisl linth Phinchiis Hcmcnwin jfavc ye charirc : And tlie Revd. 
Daniel Wilkins, of Souhfjroiii. ^riivc Tlic ripht IlamI of VA\o\\A\\y."— church records 
1,11 \tr. CdiKlliiic. 1 Daniel Kmcisoii. l)clonj,'ed to Hollis, N. U. Souhcfron was the 
I'ndiannameof Amherst. N.H.] 


generations that have appeared and gone, no mutilated 
manuscript descended in an ancestral line, nothing to 
satisfy the enquirer, either as to who were the men who 
assisted when he took upon himself his ordination vows, 
or who spoke consoling words to his widow and children 
at his mournful obsequies. The slate head-stone which 
marks the spot where he was buried contains the follow- 
ing inscription : — 




Who departed this life May 20, 1760, 

AGED 55, 

In the 27th year of his ?vlinistry. 

He was sound in the faith, zealous in the 
Cause of God, meek and patient under trials, 
Diligent in improving his talents, faithful to his 
Lord, and to the souls of his people. 

From death's arroics. no mje or station is free. 

At a town meeting, September 16, 1760, "Voted that 
the Rev. Mr. Hemenway's salary run on six weeks after 
his decease, provided Madame Hemenway will give the 
town the boarding of the bearers the six days they 

The inference from this record is, that in those days, 
the death of a minister was considered a public bereave- 
ment, and that this town had the deep sympathy of the 
neighboring churches and their pastors, on this occasion. 


At a meeting of the town, June 20, 1760, "Voted to pay 
all the charges occasioned by the Reverend Mr. Hemen- 
ways funeral which are £102 i6s. 8d. old tenor, and that 
the selectmen provide the preaching of the gospel at 
present — and provide a place for the minister to keep at." 

With commendable promptness the town on the twen- 
tieth of October, following : "Voted and chose Mr. Samuel 
Dix to be their pastor and gospel minister by a unanimous 
vote." Whereupon the church gave him a call, which he 
accepted by a formal letter to that body, January 13th, 

Mr. Dix, was a native of Reading, born March 23, 
1736; was graduated at Harvard University, 1758, 
ordained March 4th, 1761, died November 12th, 1797, in 
the thirty-sixth year of his pastorate, aged sixty-two. 

The Dix family, not only in the Rev. Samuel Dix's 
generation, but in that which preceded it, was noted for 
great perseverance, strict conformity to puritanical princi- 
ples united with a good degree of culture. 

One of his brothers was the first school-master of the 
town of Dunstable, New Hampshire, another brother, who 
resided for a short time in one or two of the neighboring 
towns in New Hampshire, was the grand-father of John A. 
Dix, Ex-Governor of New York. They belonged to that 
class of men to whom we are largely indebted for botli 
civil and religious liberty. 

The class in which Mr. Dix graduated at the universitv 
contained an unusually large number of men who after- 
wards entered the ministry, some of whom in abilitv and 
usefulness were much above mediocrity. One of his 
class-mates. Rev. Samuel Pavson, was ordained at Lunen- 
burg, September 8, 1762, and died February 14, 1763, 


aged 24. Mr. Dix was about twenty-tive years old when 
he was ordained. 

Rev. Simeon Howard, a distinguished divine, of the 
same class in college, was for a time Professor of Divinity 
at Edinburgh, Scotland. Thirteen, of this class of thirty- 
one members, were ministers of the gospel. 

When Mr. Dix came to this town, log-cabins were 
about going out of fashion, being superceded by substan- 
tial frame houses, made from lumber sawed at ''Conant's 
mill," or the mill at the Harbor. The house now owned 
and occupied by Israel H. Spaulding, was built for Mr. 
Dix, and he lived there till 1770, when he moved to the 
parsonage given to the town by Lieut. Amos Whitne^■. 

In most instances, these houses were large, uncom- 
fortable two-story structures, the rooms on the first floor 
being generally finished with a suitable panel-work ceil- 
ing. The second stor}', which was the dormitory of 
the family, except the parents, seldom had an\' finish 
unless perhaps a temporary partition across the middle of 
the house. The pattering of the rain on the roof in mid- 
summer, or the more blustering music of the wind at the 
December solstice, were both welcomed b^' the rustic 
sleepers within. 

The town voted to give Mr. Dix £133 6s. 8d. for his 
settlement, and £66 13s. 8d. lor his annual salar}'. It soon 
became apparent that this sum was inadequate to his sup- 
port, on account of the abundance of paper money then 
in circulation. The town with alacrity increased his pay, 
in proportion as the scrip lessened in value. 

In 1779, the town "voted to raise £1,000 for the sup- 
port of Rev. Samuel Dix, and his family, the present vear, 
including his salary," and at a town meeting Julv 4, 1780, 


"voted to raise £6.000 to make up Mr. Dix's salary to the 
fourth of September next." 

The pastorate of Mr. Dix was a continued era of good 
feeling and concord, and in fact, no disagreement of any 
magnitude ever visited the church in this town for nearly 
a century from the time it was gathered. 

Mr. Dix was a very successful pastor, and was much 
respected and beloved by all who knew him, as a neighbor, 
a citizen, a "man of God."' In addition to his labors in 
Townsend he did considerable work of a missionary char- 
acter at towns in this vicinity, where they had no ordained 
minister, and only occasional preaching. He did pastoral 
work in the towns of Raby [now Brookline], Mason, 
Jaffrey, Hancock, and Limerick [now Stoddard], in the 
State of New Hampshire, and at Ashby. He took much 
interest in the moral and religious affairs in these towns, 
and he had the pleasure and satisfaction of living long- 
enough to know that each of these places had a regularly 
ordained minister. 

The church and people in Brookline were under many 
obligations to Mr. Dix ; and it was in accordance with his 
advice and good judgment, that the Rev. Lemuel Wards- 
worth was chosen first minister of that town. Ashby, 
also, had no settled minister until seventeen years after 
Mr. Dix was setded in Townsend. He must have made 
many journeys to these places, some of them long and 
tedious, during the prime of his life, not only to preach 
the word, but to solemnize marriages ; to visit those who 
languished under pain and sickness ; to alleviate the sor- 
rows of the bereaved, when death had sealed the eyes and 
frozen the liquid current of vitality. 

Mr. Dix was admirably adapted to the sacred calling 
which he espoused. He was dignified without coldness or 


arrogance, cheerful without levity, and strictly courteous 
and condescending in his deportment. He gave his undi- 
vided attention to his pastoral dudes, and with the excep- 
tion of one or two patriotic sermons, delivered during the 
early part of the revolutionary war, he labored faithfully 
for "a crown incorruptible" both for himself and the 
people committed to his charge. He was an excellent 
classical scholar, and as a writer he would lose nothing 
by comparison either with his contemporaries in the 
ministry, or those who succeeded him in the church in 

The following is a sample of his style. It consdtuted 
an effort complete in itself, and on account of its clearness 
and brevity it is here inserted in full. 

The charge, by Rev. Samuel Dix, of Townsend, at 
the ordination of Rev. Eli Smith, of Hollis, November 27, 
1793 ■'— 

The great Savior, who is the head over all things to 
the Church, having, in his all governing providence, and 
as we trust, by his most gracious Spirit, called you. Sir, to 
this part of his vineyard, and united you with this people 
in love ; and you being now solemnly introduced to the 
important work of the gospel ministry, and ordained a 
pastor of this flock in particular; we charge you, before 
God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to be faithful, as is required 
of his stewards, in the execution of this sacred office, and 
every part of it. 

Preach the word : the word of God ; the same truths 
and doctrines, which Christ and his Apostles preached. 
Preach them plainly and fully. Shun not to declare the 
whole counsel of God. Preach them activelv and 
urgently, as becomes their inconceivable importance. 


embracing all convenient opportunities. Be instant in 
season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all 
long suffering and doctrine. 

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman 
that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of 
truth. In order to this, give yourself to reading and 
meditation, that your profiting may appear to all. Take 
heed to yourself and to your doctrine ; continue in them, 
that you may both save yourself, and those that hear you. 

We also charge you to be friendly and faithful to our 
Divine Master, to his Church and the interest of his king- 
dom, in respect of administering the seals of his covenant. 
Baptism and the Lords Supper. Teach the people of the 
Lord to discern between the holy and profane. Seek the 
purity as well as the increase of the church, which is Gods 
building ; that being fitly framed into Jesus Christ, the 
chief corner-stone, it may grow into an holy temple in the 

That you may know how you ought to behave 3'our- 
self in regard to discipline, in the house of God, which is 
the church of the living God, learn of Christ and his 

Take the oversight, not as being a lord over Gods 
heritage, but being an ensample to the flock. Observe 
these things without preferring one before another, doing 
nothing by partiality. Thus endeavor to preserve and 
promote the peace, unity and edification of the body of 
Christ. Now, therefore, be strong in the grace that is in 
Christ Jesus. For this purpose, and that you may be 
thoroughly furnished to all good works, continue in prayer ; 
interceding for all men. Pray with and for the people of 
your charge, not only in public, but also in private. Wait on 


the Lord, and he shall strengthen thy heart, and bless the 
people whom you may lead and teach, from time to time, 
in His name, who is the fountain of all grace and glory. 

Whenever you may be called to assist in separating 
one to the great work, on which you are now entering, 
attend to his qualifications, especially as to his moral 
character, and religious sentiments. Lay hands suddenly 
on no man ; but the things you have now received in trust, 
commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others 

Be thou, Sir, an example of the believers, in conver- 
sation and charity, in faith and purity. Endure hardness 
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Fight the good fight of 
faith. Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also 

Dear brother, we give you charge, in the sight of God, 
who quickeneth all things, and of Christ Jesus, who. 
before Pontius Pilate, witnessed a good confession, that 
you keep this commandment of the Lord, without spot, 
unrebukable, until the appearing of Jesus Christ, who 
saith. Surely I come quicklv. Amen. 

Mr. Dix w^as held in high estimation by the Rev. 
Ebenezer Hill, of Mason, New Hampshire, who, at his 
own expense, caused two or three of his addresses to be 
printed, as exemplars of eloquence as well as piety, and 
from these the above was extracted. Mr. Dix married 
Miss Abigail Chandler, of Boston. 

The Rev. Stephen Farrar, of New Ipswich, New 
Hampshire, who preached the funeral sermon of Mr. Dix, 
says of him : "He sustained the character of an upright 
and faithful man, who shone peculiarly in the virtues of 
meekness, patience, humility and self-denial," and that his 


preaching was accompanied with "earnestness and pathos 
of address." 

During the hitter part of his life, tor sometime, he 
experienced a degree of illness from which he suffered 
considerably ; still he attended to his regular pastoral 
duties. There was a large assembly at his funeral, among 
which were many ministers, who came considerable dis- 
tance to pay their respects to the memory of their friend 
and brother, for whom Death had "unveiled eternity.'' 
These reverend gentlemen gratuitouslv supplied the pulpit 
made vacant by the death of Mr. Dix, about two months 
trom the time of his decease. 

The ensuing summer, the town " voted and chose 
Lieut. Jacob Blodget a committee to obtain a suitable stone 
to be erected at the grave of Rev. Samuel Dix." On his 
gravestone is inscribed as follows : — 



The Second Pastor of the Church of Christ in Townsend, 

Who departed this life, Nov. 12, 1797, 
In the 62d year of his age, and the 36th year of his ministry. 

He was sound in the faith, a lover of souls : humble, 
meek and patient under trials, kind, cliaritable and benev- 
olent to all. 

Vc liviiiii' nioi'tiils, tiike u solcinu view 
Of this, my silent, dark and l()ii<>- abode.' 
Heineinber. you were bom like me to die, 
Tlieicfore i)re])ai-e to meet a rijiiiteous God. 



The town soon began to search for a minister, and in 
every particular regarded the advice of Mr. Farrar, con- 
tained in the funeral sermon : "You are now left as sheep 
without a shepherd. But the great Shepherd of the sheep 
still lives, and may His watchful care be your guard and 
defence. See that 3-ou be not like sheep scattered and 
dispersed upon the mountains ; broken and divided into 
parties ; but with united hearts and fervent cries, look to 
Him who can repair your breach, and give you a pastor 
according to his heart." 

There were several candidates for a settlement over 
the church and congregation before the town made a 

Rev. Joshua Heywood ( D. Col. 1795,) preached 
throvigh a candidacy of "six sabbaths'* during the summer 
of 1798, and in the autumn following the tow-n "voted to 
hire Mr. Whitney (probably Rev. Nicholas B. Whitney. 
Har. Col. 1793,) for six sabbaths, commencing the third 
sabbath in February next. The length of time that Mr. 
Palmer preached as a candidate is not known, the town 
voting about the first of September, "to hear Mr. Palmer 
further in regard to a settlement."' 

The action of the church in regard to Mr. Palmer's 
settlement, as represented by the records, was as follows : 

"The church met according to previous agreement, at 
the meeting house in this place Sept 3'^ 1799, and chose 
the Rev. John Bullard moderator. 

"Having addressed the throne of Grace for light and 
direction — Voted 

"i'"^ To proceed to the choice of a gospel minister, 


"2^^ To invite Mr. David Palmer to be our pastor and 

"N. B. Each of the brethren present gave his vote in 
favor of Mr. Pahner except one, and he had no 
objection against him. but want of personal ac- 

"The meeting was then adjourned without a day. 

John Bullard 
Mod'". _^r(? ton.'"' 

The record continues thus : "Mr. Palmer having been 
served with a copy of the above votes (the Town concur- 
ing in the same) gave an affirmative answer to our invi- 
tation. The chh. being notified met accordingly upon 
adjournment, 2'' da}' of December 1799 — & voted 

"i''* To invite the Pastor & delegation of each of the 
following churches viz, the chhs. in Windham 2-^ societv, 
N Ipswich, Shirley, Lunenburg, Lisbon, Groton, Ashby, 
Pepperell, Boscaw^en, Mason, Hollis, Brookline, & Fitch- 
burg, to join in council for the purpose of separating our 
Pastor elect to the work whereunto he is called. 

"2^-^' That Deacons, Richard Wier & Daniel Adams & 
brother Jacob Blodget, be a committee to prepare and 
forward letters missive to the above churches for s'^ purpose, 
and to lay before the council the doings of the church & 

"^'iiy Voted to dissolve the meeting. 
"The meeting was dissolved accordingly. 

John Bullard Mode'" 

Pro Tcni.'^ 

The terms on which Mr. Palmer was settled, including 
the use of the parsonage, the condition in which it was to 


be fitted when he commenced occupancy, the manner in 
which he should leave the same, should he choose to do so, 
the mode of proceeding in case either party should become 
dissatisfied, and other "provisos" are profusely spread on 
the records of the town. 

The first day of January, 1800, was appointed for the 
ordination, the exercises consisting of prayer by Rev. 
Daniel Chaplin, of Groton ; sermon b}' Rev. Andrew 
Lee, of Lisbon, Connecticut ; charge by Rev. Ebenezer 
Hill, of Mason, New Hampshire ; right hand of fellow- 
ship by Rev. John Bullard, of Pepperell. 

The new year, ordination day, opened bright and 
pleasant, the mercury being just below the freezing point ; 
a few inches of snow, fastened down by a hard crust, 
rendered all kinds of locomotion very agreeable. The 
learned council, pastor elect, and invited guests, dined at 
the widow Sarah Conant's tavern, at the Harbor, at 12 

After the good cheer of "mine hostess" had been under 
consideration for a suitable length of time, these venerable 
divines formed a procession and marched by the music of 
fife and drum, to the meeting-house on the hill, where they 
found a crowd in and around the building, through which, 
with slow progress, they arrived qt the pulpit and its sur- 
roundings. This was a perfect holiday for Townsend and 
its vicinity. In addition to the multitude standing on the 
ground looking in at the windows, which were partly open 
for purposes of ventilation, a stage had been built up at 
the gallery windows, from which a view of the speakers 
was obtained, and almost everything heard that was said 
inside the house, in which every foot of room was oc- 
cupied. These outsiders were very quiet ; not a loud word 


was spoken, yet occasionally at the motion of a finger, or 
a wink, a cord would be dropped down when the fisher- 
man aloft would "get a bite" and up would go a bottle or 
a flask. Who knows that these were not "smelling 
bottles" to prevent dizziness at that altitude? 

Every house in town was open, and the hospitalities of 
both the season and the occasion were as free as air. A 
descendant of Samuel Stone, who built and lived in the 
house now occupied by Samuel Stone Haynes, informed 
the writer that one hundred people dined with Mr. Stone 
on that da3% and that twenty-five of them passed the night 
with him. Most of the prominent men in town were 
similarly favored with the presence of friends and relatives. 

This was the last festival of the kind in which all our 
people participated, for long before Mr. Palmer left the 
church militant, and before his successor was ordained, it 
was my church, my minister, my mode of baptism, and 
sectarianism began to unfurl the banner of discord. 

Rev. David Palmer was born 1768, at Windham, 
Connecticut, graduated at Dartmouth College, 1797, was 
preceptor of New Ipswich Academy, 1798, ordained the 
third pastor in Townsend, January ist, 1800, married 
Chloe Kinsley of his native town, 1794, '"^"^^ died at 
Townsend, February 15, 1849, aged 81 years. 

Townsend at the time of Mr. Palmer's ordination was 
an entirely difTerent town from what it was when either of 
his predecessors entered the ministr} . The privations 
attending the converting of a wilderness into a township, 
filled with the industries and embellishments of civilized 
life, had all been endured and accomplished. The event- 
ful da\s of the revolutionary war, through which our 
fathers struggled and bled, had all taken their places on 


^ ^Oc^Sm^e^' 


the historian's page. Our people had just commenced to 
manipulate metalic federal money, and enter on the enjoy- 
ments of ''life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."' The 
printing press, 

••The mightiest of the niiohty means. 
On which the arm of progress leans," 

had approached the town as near as Leominster on one 
side, and Amherst, New Hampshire, on the other. Edu- 
cation had received a fresh impetus by the establishing of 
the academies at New Ipswich and Groton, and by more 
liberal appropriations for the support of common schools. 
Enterprise and progress were the watchwords at the com- 
mencement of the present century. 

Everything considered, the town and church made a 
judicious choice for their third spiritual advisor. Mr. 
Palmer was decidedly a popular man in all his social re- 
lations, and his influence as a townsman was felt partic- 
ularly by the children and youth of Townsend. During 
most of his pastorate it was the custom, among their other 
duties, for the ministers to examine the teachers, and in 
part, to superintend the schools. 

There was not a school in town that did not hail his 
approach with pleasure. Most of the elderly people in 
town, who attended school here in Mr. Palmer's titne, not 
only remember the blandness of his countenance, but they 
still retain pleasant recollections of the method in which 
he would interest and instruct them in their lessons and 
duties by some chaste anecdote, or simple story told in a 
peculiarly appreciable manner. 

He entered into the spirit of improvement in all things 
and never frowned on any legitimate amusement. Music 
he loved, possessing both a cultivated voice and ear. 


At a town meeting in 1806, "Voted to grant Fit\y 
dollars for the support of a singing school this year, and 
chose a committee to conduct said school. Chose for said 
committee, Rev. David Palmer, Mr. Peter Manning and 
Mr. Eliab Going." 

Mr. Palmer was also a practical educator outside of 
the pulpit. About twenty young men fitted for college 
with him, a part of whom will be noticed in another part 
of this work. 

Mr. Palmer solicited for the money which was paid 
for the first bell ever hung on any belfry in this town. In 
the course of the canvass, he spoke to one of his people, 
an old man bent down by the weight of years, almost to 
the form of a semi-circle, but possessed of a good amount of 
wealth. He explained to the old gentleman the object of 
his visit, setting forth the advantages of having a bell, and 
in the conversation, he said that every one, and particu- 
larly every stranger, who looked u^ and saw a bell in the 
belfry, would have more respect tor Townsend. "I know" 
said the octogenarian, rolling his head over on one side 
and casting up one e3'e to Mr. Palmer, "but I have most 
done looking 11^." "\ should be pleased then if you prefer 
looking dozvn, to have you look down into your money 
purse for a moment." "That can be done," said the old 
man, handing over three hard dollars to the minister, when 
they parted in excellent humor. 

Mr. Palmer was a successful pastor. During his 
ministry two hundred and fifty members were added to 
the church, sixty-two of that number having joined during 
the year 1826. He studied divinity with Rev. Andrew 
Lee, of Lisbon, Connecticut. As a preacher, he was 
rather doctrinal than practical, but interesting, his exer- 
cises not being as long as were those of some of his 


brethren, who exchanged pulpits with him. A few of his 
sermons were "pubHshed by request of his hearers," one 
of which was deHvered on the twelfth anniversary of his 
ordination, from the text, ''This day shall be for a memo- 
rial," — Exodus 12, 14. This and other printed discourses 
were written in a clear, forcible style, exhibiting deep 
thought, good scholarship, and unfeigned piety. 

The introduction of unitarianism into New England, 
and the inauguration of the Harvard Divinity School in 
181 7, swept away all religious unanimity from among the 
churches. The cities took the initiative in the crusade 
against the faith and opinions of Knox and Calvin, but 
were soon reinforced bv most of the large towns in the 
Commonwealth. This great tidal wave reached Town- 
send, about 1825. Rev. Mr. Thayer, of Lancaster, was 
the tirst preacher of this doctrine here. The unitarians 
increasing- durino- this time, the town voted to grant the 
use of the meeting-house to them for a certain number of 
sabbaths at several times. "Owing to some misunder- 
standing in regard to the rightful use of the meeting house, 
one sabbath, both denominations appeared and claimed it: 
but the unitarians had taken possession." • A writer in the 
interest of the congregationalists thus describes what oc- 
curred at that time : — 

"Coming into the church one sabbath morning, the pas- 
tor found that the unitarians had procured their champion. 
Rev. Dr. Thayer, of Lancaster, and put him in his place. 
Walking up in front of the pulpit, Mr. Palmer turned and 
publicly addressed his people, stating that he felt the pulpit 
by right belonged to him, but as another had been put in 
his place, he should not contend with him, nor should he 
countenance error by remaining. He declared his purpose 


to retire to the school house, and such as should tbllow 
him, he would preach to there. Immediately as the pastor 
left the house, he was followed by his flock, like the faith- 
ful sheep w^ho knew the voice of their shepherd, till not a 
member of the church remained behind, and not one of 
the singers formed the choir. 

"The pastor preached to his flock that flrst sabbath 
from the text, Nehemiah 6, ii, 'Should such a man as I, 
flee ; and who is there, that being as I am, would go into 
the temple to save his life ; I will not go in.' An exami- 
nation of this text with the verses following, and a consid- 
eration of the use at this time made of them, will reveal 
the words to have been aptly chosen." 

The unitarians asked for the use of the meeting-house 
one-fourth of the time, or that Mr. Palmer would exchange 
with ministers of that denomination, or with the universal- 
ists, that they might enjoy preaching tor that part of the 
dme. To this, Mr. Palmer would have agreed, but some 
of the leading men of his church objected. The truth is 
it was generally known, that Mr. Thayer was in town 
on the evening belbre Mr. Palmer and his people left the 
church ; that Mr. Palmer was in consultation with Mr. 
Thaver during the evening : that their meeting was pleas- 
ant and agreeable ; that then a method, whereby the unita- 
rians were to have a hearing during one-fourth of the 
time, was agreed upon by these ministers ; but that after 
they had separated, certain influential church members 
interview^ed Mr. Palmer, and squarel}- objected to the 
arrangement : and for the sake of eflect, the programme, 
that was carried out the following day, was ordered. Mr. 
Palmers text, on arrival at the school-house, is very good 
proof of a premeditated act. These two ministers had ex- 
changed pulpits several times previous to this time. By 


this difficulty, some curious phases of human nature were 
developed. A short time after this, the congregationalists 
erected their brick church, repudiated Mr. Palmer, and 
put in his place an eloquent young man, whom they con- 
sidered amply qualified to combat unitarianism. On the 
other hand in almost as brief a time, the unitarians finding 
themselves masters of the situation so far as the meeting- 
house was concerned, ordained a minister, took a dislike 
to him soon after, dismissed him, and, for a time, placed 
Mr. Palmer back in his old pulpit again. 

The conduct of the men of wealth and influence, in 
the congregational church at that time, towards Mr. 
Palmer, can never be explained in a manner that will 
place them in an enviable or even an honorable position. 
Mr. Palmer never withdrew his connection from the 
church over which he was ordained, and from which he 
was dismissed in July, 1830, after a pastorate of thirty and 
one-half years. After this he preached for some time in 
Brookline, New Hampshire. Although he was never in 
indigent circumstances, he was the recipient of man}' 
favors from kind-hearted people who sympathized with an 
elderly gentleman deserted by those who should have been 
his friends. 

As a compliment to his integrit}', and from motives of 
benevolence and respect, he was elected by the town a 
representative to the General Court in 1833 and 1834. His 
successor in the ministry also. Rev. Mr. Rogers, ex- 
tended to him many courtesies and kindnesses during his 
short pastorate, and although he keenly felt the ingratitude 
of those who cast him oft', still he encountered old age 
with cheerfulness, and death with the hope of a believer 
in the doctrine which he had preached. 


After 1830 the town in its corporate capacity was not 
represented by any religious society or minister of the 
gospel. Previous to that time, unless by special vote of 
the town, the expenses of preaching were paid by a tax, 
assessed on all the polls and estates in town. The con- 
gregationalists, considering that another church was about 
to be organized in Townsend, saw that their church must 
have a more definite name than "The church of Christ in 
Townsend" (by which name the church under the town's 
ministers was known), so that Februar}^ 8, 1830, the 
church assumed the name, "The Orthodox Congrega- 
tional Church of Christ in Townsend." A clerk, treasurer 
and prudential committee, were also chosen about that 

The tirst pastor of this church, the Rev. William 
Matticks Rogers, was ordained February 16, 183 1. 
Invocation by Rev. Phillips Payson, of Leominster; 
prayer, by Rev. Charles Walker, of New Ipswich, New 
Hampshire; sermon by Rev. John Codman, D. D., of 
Boston ; ordaining prayer by Rev. Rufus A. Putnam, of 
Fitchburg ; charge by Rev. Ebenezer Hill, of Mason, 
New Hampshire ; right hand of fellowship by Rev. John 
Todd, of Groton. This gentleman was born in England, 
but came to this country in his bo3'hood under the care of 
his relatives who carefully superintended his education. 
He graduated with honor at Harvard University, 1827, 
and at the Theological Seminary, at Andover, in 1830, 
where he ranked the first in his class. His father fell at 
the battle of Waterloo. His name was Kettell, but at the 
suggestion of one of his uncles, who had been his patron 
and was about to endow him quite liberally, it was changed 
bv an act of the Legislature to Rogers, his uncle's name. 


In a pecuniary point of view he was extremely fortunate. 
The legacy, a rich wife, and the large salaries he received 
during the last ten or twelve years of his life brought him 
wealth in abundance. He married Adelia Strong, daugh- 
ter of Judge Strong, of Leominster. He possessed little 
physical force and vitality, but was an active, keen man. 

The church made a judicious choice in selecting their 
first minister. As a sectarian, Mr. Rogers was extremely 
prudent ; and he was much more ■ anxious to build up his 
own church and society than to pull down that of its op- 
ponents, the unitarians. He was a good writer, had a 
winning address, and was a popular minister. During the 
four years and live months of his pastorate, one hundred 
and forty-nine members were admitted to the church. At 
his request he was dismissed in July, 1835. He removed 
to Boston and was installed pastor of one of the churches 
in that city, where he died in 185 1. 

Rev. Columbus Shumway was the second pastor. 
He was born at Belchertown, graduated at Union College 
and at Auburn Theological Seminary, and was installed, 
January 6, 1836. In every particular, he was a respect- 
able preacher. Mr. Shumway must have been placed in 
a delicate position, and experienced all the difficulties of 
being the successor of a lirst-class man. Undoubtedlv too 
much was expected from him. The notice of his dismis- 
sion, tendered to him March 28, 1837, was a surprise to 
him, from the fact that up to that moment, evervthing on 
the surface indicated both unanimit}' and satisfaction. 

Rev. DAvid Stowell, born 1804, at Westmoreland, 
New Hampshire ; graduated at Dartmouth College, 1829 ; 
was installed third pastor of this church. June 2S, 1837. 


Mr. Stowell was a man of good intellectual abilities, on 
account of which he was selected to till this position. 
There were some irregularities in his conduct during 
the latter part of his pastorate, which caused both 
him and the church considerable excitement and trouble. 
Two or three ecclesiastical councils were convened to con- 
sider the case. At the last council, the opponents of Mr. 
Stowell secured the services of Rev. John A. Albro, 
formerly of Fitchburg, to substandate the charges alleged 
against him. A lawyer from Boston appeared as counsel 
for the defence, and the merits of the case were discussed 
ably and somewhat sharply by both parties. This council, 
after due deliberadon, ordered the dismission of Mr. 
Stowell, on the lifteenth of August, 1843. Before coming 
to Townsend, Mr. Stowell had been settled at New Boston, 
New Hampshire, where he preached for some time. From 
Townsend, he went to Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, 
where he died in 1854. 

Rev. Luther H. Sheldon, the fourth pastor of this 
church, was born at Easton, 1815 ; graduated at Middle- 
bury College, 1839 ; graduated at Andover Theological 
Seminar}^ 1842, and ordained, August 15, 1844. Invoca- 
tion by Rev. Joseph B. Hill, of Mason, New Hampshire ; 
sermon by Rev. R. S. Storrs, of Braintree ; ordaining 
prayer, by Rev. Dudley Phelps, of Groton ; charge by 
Rev. Luther Sheldon, of Easton, (fiither of the pastor 
elect) ; fellowship of the churches by Rev. E. W. Bullard, 
of Fitchburg. Mr. Sheldon was a very active man, 
prompt at an appointment, and always prepared for an}- 
pastoral work to which duty called him. He took an 
unusual interest in education, and he served on the school 


~-^ ,^ ^ 

yZ^^-^ o<j^^^^^& /y 


committee, to the advantage and acceptance of all in- 
terested. The abolition of slavery was an object that 
engrossed his attention. Some of his sermons on that 
subject were printed. During the anti-slavery excitement, 
and what was known as the Washingtonian movement in 
the temperance cause, he was more independent and out- 
spoken than most of his brethren in the ministry. He was 
a diligent student, a forcible writer, and, although not an 
orator of the first class, he delivered his sermons in an im- 
pressive, intelligible manner. In proof that he not onlv 
had the moral and intellectual equipments indispensable to 
every minister of his denomination, but that he possessed 
much shrewdness and good judgment, it may be mentioned 
that he remained pastor of this church more than double 
the length of time of that of any of his predecessors, and 
about four times as long as the longest time of anv of his 
successors, during the twenty years that followed after his 
dismission. Mr. Sheldon was dismissed, at his own 
request, March 7, 1856, after a successful pastorate of 
about twelve years. 

After about the usual time spent in "candidating," the 
Rev. Eli W. Cook, a graduate of Yale College, 1837, 
was chosen pastor of this church, and he was installed on 
the twenty-eighth day of April, 1858. This Cook did not 
prepare and dispense "the bread of life" in a manner cal- 
culated either to please or edify the people, who looked to 
him for a good example and a character above reproach. 
Some irregularities caused his connection with this church 
to be of short dui'ation. It is probable he was not deficient 
in either natural ability or education, but he lost the con- 
fidence of the church and societ}' and was dismissed 


October 12, 1859, ^^^-"^ pastorate being less than a }ear and 
a halt; 

Rev. Moses Patten was ordained pastor of this 
church on the seventh of June, i860. Sermon by Rev. 
Austin Phelps, of Andover ; ordaining prayer by Rev. 
Theophilas P. Sawin, of Brookline, New Hampshire; 
charge by Rev. William T. Herrick, of Pelham ; fellow- 
ship of the churches by Rev. George Mooar, of Andover. 
Mr. Patten was graduated at Dartmouth' College, 1850, 
and at Andover Theological Seminar}-, in 1855. He 
was not a fluent speaker, or a man calculated to present a 
tirst-class sermon ; but he sustained an excellent moral 
character which won for him the respect of the entire com- 
munity. Had his intellectual ability been proportional to 
his wish to do good and his honesty of purpose, perhaps 
his pastorate would have been longer. He was dismissed 
April 27th. 1863. 

On the twenty-seventh day of August, 1863, the church 
"Voted to instruct their committee of supply to employ 
Rev. John C. Hutchinson as their acting pastor." This 
gentleman had good abilities, but withal, was rather eccen- 
tric. Occasionally his sermons, viewed from either a 
literarv, elocutionary or ecclesiastical stand-point, would 
not sufler in comparison with those of the popular preach- 
ers at that time. Sometimes after reaching near the close 
of a discourse, to which the most delicate mental organiza- 
tion could take no exceptions, an uncalled-for sentiment 
or an indiscreet expression would drop trom his mouth 
which would tarnish the entire eflbrt. His remarks at 
funerals were generally timely, appropriate and well 
received. The church record has it, that "July 22, 1866, 


Mr. Hutchinson preached his farewell sermon and left this 
field of labor," being acting pastor some less than three 
years. He was a close student and attended strictly to his 
own business. 

Rev. George Williams was installed pastor of this 
church, May ist, 1867 — dismissed February ist, 1869. 
Mr. Williams had been a chaplain during the rebellion. 
It was considered, previous to the time when he left, that 
he did not give that study of and attention to his duties 
which his calling demanded. 

Rev. George H. Morss was the successor of Mr. 
Williams, the church voting to employ him as acting- 
pastor, June 17, 1869. Mr. Morss was born in Lowell, 
in 1832. He fitted for college at Phillips Academy, An- 
dover, graduating there in 1857. His health tailing him, 
he did not enter college. He went south and spent about 
a year in teaching among the Choctaw Indians. Having 
regained his usual health, he returned home and took 
some of the college studies with a private tutor. He 
passed the usual three years at Andover Theological 
Seminary, where he graduated in 1862. Mr. Morss was 
a quiet, conscientious, amiable man. There was nothing 
overbearing or dictatorial in his manner or intercourse 
with his fellow-men. His words were well spoken and 
well adapted to the occasion which called them out. His 
sermons were carefully written and sometimes consider- 
ably above mediocrity. One of them, a historical dis- 
course, printed by order of the church, and the result of 
much labor, was well recei\'ed. He was dismissed, April 
loth, 1873. At present, he is located very pleasanth' at 
Clarendon, Vermont. 


On the twenty-ninth day of September, 1873, the 
church "voted to invite Rev. Henry C. Fay to become 
its acting pastor ;" and he immediately accepted the invita- 
tion and entered upon his duties with this church and 
congregation. He was born in Shrewsbury, 1827, — grad- 
uated at Leicester Academy, 1850, — graduated at Amherst 
College, 1854, — graduated at the Theological Seminary, 
Bangor, 1857. Was ordained at Northwood, New Hamp- 
shire, 1858, where he remained six years. He was four 
years at Newton, two years at Hubbardston, two years at 
Harwich Port, and three and one-half years at Townsend. 
He is a live preacher, a close student, having much enter- 
prise and force of character. He has most of the qualities 
requisite for a leader. If he had been educated at West 
Point, instead of Bangor, he probably would- have suc- 
ceeded well under "shoulder-straps." Considered as a 
writer, or a speaker, he is well cultivated and appears to 
good advantage. He was dismissed in September, 1876. 

Three or four candidates appeared, in turn, to preach 
for the congregationalists, during the next six months, 
when sometime in the summer of 1877, the church ex- 
tended a unanimous call to Albert F. Newton to become 
their pastor. He accepted the call, and was ordained on 
the fifth of September, 1877. 

Rev. Albert F. Newton was born at Salmon Falls, 
New Hampshire, in 1848 ; graduated at Appleton Acad- 
emv, New Ipswich, New Hampshire. 1870; graduated at 
Dartmouth College, 1874 • graduated at Andover Theolog- 
ical Seminarv, 1877. The clergymen of the council, who 
took a part in his ordination, were as follows: invocation 


by Rev. Daniel E. Adams, of Ashburnham ; sermon by 
James H. Thayer, D. D., of Andover ; ordaining prayer by 
Rev. Marcus Ames, of Lancaster ; charge by Rev. George 
Pierce, of Milford, New Hampshire ; fellowship of the 
churches by Rev. J. H. Barrows, of Lawrence; address 
to the people by Rev. F. D. Sargent, of Brookline, New 
Hampshire. The day was beautiful, and man}- joyous 
faces lighted up the large assembly that witnessed these 
exercises. Mr. Newton has zealously entered upon his 
labors under favorable auspices, and in the lives of most 
of his predecessors, he may find patterns worth v of his 

The congregationalists, during the year 1877, erected 
a set of buildings suitable for a parsonage, the result of 
the untiring efforts of the Ladies' Benevolent Society, 
connected with this denomination. The land on which the 
buildings stand was the gift of Deacon Walter Ha3'nes. 
The dwelling, for the convenience of its internal arrange- 
ments, its general good proportions, and the faithful 
manner in which it is completed, is a source of credit 
to the committee which superintended its erection. 

As the parsonage house, given to the town by "Lieut. 
Amos Whitney,'' in 1769, although renovated and wrought 
into another structure, has escaped the corroding, devour- 
ing elements, and come down to us through the lapse of 
more than a century, so may this elegant, unostentatious 
house stand, to become the pleasant abode for pastors yet 
unborn, who in their turn, shall "bring glad tidings" to the 
on-coming generations. It is a happy thought that this 
church has furnished a suitable residence for its pastor, 
situated so convenient to the church edifice. 



Names of the deacons during the time the church was 
a town institution : 

Joseph Stevens, appointed, 1734, died, 1738 
Isaac Spaulding, 
Samuel Clark, 
Jonathan Stow, 
*RicHARD Wyer, 
James Hosley, 
Jonathan Wheelock, 
Daniel Adams, 
John Giles, 
John Boutell, 

Names ot" the deacons who continued with the con- 
gregationalists at their separation trom the town and those 
who were appointed b}' them afterwards : 

Joel Adams, 
Daniel Giles, 
fSAMUEL Walker, 


- 1776. 


' 1783. 


' 1780. 

1773' ' 

• 1812. 

1778, • 

1782, ' 


' 1827. 

181 2, 

' 1825. 



' i860, 
with tht 

appointed, 1824, 

John Spaulding, 
John Proctor, 
Abijah Blood, 
Walter Haynes, 
Samuel F. Warren, 
Ambrose G. Stickney, 


1845 ' 



died, 1854. 

- 1858. 
•' 1859. 
'• 1866. 

When the congregationalists seceded from wliat was 
the tirst parish in Townsend, they took with them every 
member of the church, the communion cups and baptismal 

* Deacon Wj-er fell while planing a board and died almost instantly. 

t Deacon Walker fell while at work in the hay-Held and died snddenly of heart- 
disease, lie withdrew from the orthodox cluirch and joined the baptists, about fifteen 
years previous to his death. 


basin ; no one appearing to object, and no one that 
remained having any use for these things. It must not 
be taken for granted, that either party to this controversy, 
during these exciting times, could lay claim to all the 
consistency or amiability. No one can denv, when com- 
paring the opinions and faith of the trinitarians of the 
present time, with the printed discourses and doctrines of 
their clergy of fifty years ago, but that a more rational 
faith, a more Christ-like spirit has taken possession of 
the minds and hearts of these disciples of Knox and 
Calvin. One might attend church anywhere, now, with- 
out hearing anything of the doctrines of tbreordination, 
predestination or election, each of which was extensively 
preached by the clergy, previous to the advent of uni- 

It may appear singular, that a part of the town at that 
time, making no pretensions to religion, should insist on 
the use of the meeting-house a part of the time ; but 
it must be considered, that the people asked for something 
more than the dry dogmas of the school in which their 
pastor had been educated. This they would have had 
(for Mr. Palmer kept up with the spirit of the times), but 
for an undue influence, exerted bv the same individuals, 
who eventually cast him off and put Mr. Rogers in his 

The most prominent men left in 1829, to represent the 
first parish, were Paul Gerrish, Aaron Keys, Richard W. 
Pierce, Solomon Jewett, Isaac Turner, Benjamin Barrett, 
Jr., Jonathan Richardson, and John Preston. Two of 
these persons were lawyers, all of them men of influence 
and intelligence, of good morals, and the fathers of the 
town, but to all appearances not particularlv pious. 


The parsonage given to the town by Lieut. Asa 
Whitney, by act of the Legislature, passed into the hands 
of the unitarians. There were not any regular meetings 
of this society on the sabbath, or much preaching for some 
time after the "orthodox" built their house. 

Rev. Warren Burton was preacher for the first 
parish for a part of the 3^ear 1831. Allow the writer, just 
here to say, that Warren Burton was a clear-headed man, 
an excellent scholar, interesting as an author, attractive 
as a preacher, and by far the ablest minister who preached 
for this society. He graduated at Harvard College, 1821, 
died 1866, after a life of usefulness. 

For the next three years Rev. Jesse Chickering 
was the preacher for a part of the time. Occasionally the 
pulpit was supplied by universalists and restorationists. 
During the year 1835, there was not much preaching. 
The treasurer's book of this society does not show that any 
money was paid for preaching during this year. 

Rev. Ezekiel L. Bascom, commenced preaching in 
the winter of 1836, and continued till the end of the sum- 
mer, during which time he gathered a church, consisting 
of about twent3'-five members. Mr. Bascom was a man of 
prepossessing appearance, of good address, social in his 
manners, spoke easily and logically, without notes, and 
his labors were highly appreciated by this denomination. 
He was an active preacher of the gospel, after this time, 
at Ashb}'. Graduated at Dartmouth College, 1798, died 
at Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, April, 1841, aged 6;^, 
and was buried at Ashb\'. 


During the autumn of 1836, Linus H. Shaw preached 
as a candidate for the office of pastor of this church and 
society for four or five sabbaths, when he received a call 
for a settlement, which he accepted. He was ordained, 
December 21st, 1836. The following was the programme 
carried out on this occasion : Prayer by Rev. Nathaniel 
Whitman ; sermon by Rev. Andrew P. Peabody, of Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire ; charge by Rev. Samuel Barrett, 
of Boston ; right hand of fellowship by Rev. Charles 
Babbidge, of Pepperell ; address by Rev. Calvin Lincoln. 
There was a drenching rain throughout the whole day, and 
for this reason, there was not a large audience in atten- 
dance. Rev. Linus H. Shaw was a graduate of Harvard 
Divinity School, 1833. For some reason, the mantle of 
the man w'ho gathered and founded this church did not 
tall upon this young pastor, for although he was a gentle- 
man of unsullied moral character, a good thinker and a 
good writer, vet, there was something lacking in his social 
qualities, whereby he was never popular with his church 
and congregation. One great obstacle in the way of his 
success, was, that every time he attempted an extempora- 
neous address, he made a complete failure. For a man of 
his experience, he wrote good sermons and read them 
quite well, but "his occupation was gone" unless his 
thoughts were fully submitted to writing. After a pastorate 
of about two years, his connection with this parish was 
dissolved, and he moved out of town. 

From this time till 1852, when the first parish sold 
the meeting-house to the methodist society, the unitarians 
had no settled minister. Occasionally, the universalists 
and restorationists, as well as the unitarians, occupied the 


pulpit. A gentleman by the name of Sayward labored 
here the longest of any one from 1840 till the sale of the 
meeting-house. When the universalists built their meeting- 
house at West Townsend, the people in the westerly part 
of the town, who usually attended the unitarian church, 
withdrew from that society and associated with the univer- 
salists. The most influential members of the first parish, 
by this move, were found to be residents of the easterly 
part of the town. There were two meeting-houses at the 
centre of the town, and two at the west village, so that 
the influence of the Harbor in asking for one church 
building, caused the sale of the old meeting-house to be 

The meeting-house at the Harbor was built according 
to written contract, by John Hart and Amos Morse, in 
1853. Daniel G. Bean, of Lowell, was the architect. 
Perhaps the shade of Sir Christopher Wren never hovers 
over this edifice without hastening to Lowell to salute this 
"cunning artificer." This house was dedicated in the 
spring of 1854. 

Rev. Stillman Barber was hired to preach by the 
unitarians, about that time, and supplied the pulpit for 
some more than two years, when, for some reasons, best 
known to the unitarians themselves, no monev was raised 
to support the preaching of the gospel. Mr. Barber left 
town, and all interest in the denomination melted like 
an April snow wreath. Since that dme, with the exception 
of one or two law-suits growing out of some financial 
matters, and the settlement of its affairs generally, nothing 
of late, has been heard of "The First Parish in Town- 
send." The fathers of this denomination have been gath- 
ered to the innumerable muUitude of the departed, and 


the temple of worship erected by their sons, now stands 
deserted, cheerless, and seldom entered for any purpose 

For two years previous to the time that the unitarians 
sold their house to the methodists, its walls echoed the 
ringing appeals of two earnest methodist clergymen. Rev. 
Horace Moulton and Rev. Samuel Tupper. 

Rev. Horace Moulton was the pioneer methodist 
of Townsend ; he seemed peculiarly adapted tor an evan- 
gelistic pioneer work ; revivals had attended his labors in 
nearlv forty towns, before he came to Townsend. His 
biographer says : " He probably organized more methodist 
churches from converts saved through his instrumentality, 
the last half century, than any other minister of our con- 
ference." In 1849, ^^^ ""^'^^ stationed in Lunenburg, but he 
never seemed satistied unless he was engaged in revival 
work, so he got his place supplied one-half of the time, 
and preached in Townsend and Pepperell. He organized 
a class in Townsend, that year, as a branch of the church 
at Lunenburg. In 1850, Townsend became a separate 

In April, 1852, Rev. Samuel Tupper, preacher in 
charge, organized the Methodist Episcopal Society, in con- 
formitv with the provisions of the statutes of Massachusetts. 
From 1850, until the present time, 1877, this society has 
sustained preaching and weekly religious meetings. Con- 
siderable interest has been manifested from time to time, 
and numbers added to the church. The revival that 


attended the labors of I. T. Johnson, the evangehst, that 
commenced in January, 1876, was the most extensive the 
church ever experienced. The membership of the church 
at that time was forty-four ; the membership the first of 
January, 1877, was one hundred and twelve, and seventy 

During the history of this church it has enjoyed the 
services of eighteen dii^erent pastors of various degrees of 
ability and spiritualitv. Their names and order of succes- 
sion are as follows : — 

Horace Moulton, Samuel Tupper, Pliny Wood, 
Windsor Ward, J. A. Ames, T. B. Treadwell, A. F. Bai- 
ley, M. P. Webster, C. H. Hanaford, S. K. Bailey, Burtis 
Judd, E. A. Howard, A. K. Howard, T. R. Tisdale, E. 
Burrlingham, A. P. Adams, A. W. Baird, W. E. Dwight. 

The first three gentlemen mentioned in this list are 
dead ; they were men of influence with their denomina- 
tion. Mr. Ward died in Townsend and was buried here. 



Formation of the Baptist Society in 1818— Inaujiuration of the Church 
in 1827— Levi Ball Chosen Deacon— Action of the Town in Favor 
of the Baptists— Pastorate of Rev. James Barnaby— Concise 
Memoir of Mr. Barnaby — Some Account of the Successors of- 
Mr. Barnaby— Pastorate of Rev. Willard P. Upham— The Uni- 
versalist Restoration Society— Rev. John Pierce— Committee to 
Build a Meeting-house— Mention of the Several Pastors of this 

The following are among the hrst entries in the 
records of the baptist society in Townsend : — 

"Be it remembered that April 20, 1818, x\sa Baldwin, 
Joseph Walker, Thomas Weston and Solomon Stevens, 
who were members of the churches of New^ Ipswich, 
Mason and Harvard and others, met and formed ourselves 
into a society by the name of The lirst Baptist Society of 

"Since the formation of said societ}', we have had occa- 
sional preaching bv Rev. William Elliott and others." 

In 1827, the Rev. Benjamin Dean "labored here as a 
missionary under the direction of the domestic Baptist 
Missionary Society of Massachusetts." 

In April of that year, this society decided to be formed 
into a church, and in order to accomplish this object, they 


instructed Mr. Dean to call an ecclesiastical council by 
addressing letters to the neighboring Baptist churches. 
The letter sent to New Ipswich (which is spread on the 
records) was as follows : — 

"To the Baptist Church of Christ at New Ipswich : 

"The Baptist society of Townsend send christian love. 
Beloved Brethren. Sensible of the importance of exhibit- 
ing the light of the Glorious Gospel of peace, in all its 
doctrines and ordinances as they were delivered to the 
saints, and viewing ourselves incapacitated in our present 
situation to attend to the ordinances regularly, and having 
a prospect of being enlarged in numbers, have voted 
unanimouslv that it is expedient to invite our brethren to 
visit us and in an ecclesiastical council on the 9"^ day of 
May next, and should you see cause, after having exam- 
ined our situation, to constitute us into a visible Gospel 

Benjamin Dean 
Levi Ball 
Joseph Walker 
Solomon Stevens" 

The churches in the towns of New Ipswich, Mason 
and Milford in the state of New Hampshire, and Chelms- 
ford, Harvard and Littleton, in Massachusetts, were rep- 
resented in this council by a pastor and delegate. The 
fourth resolution adopted by this council was tlie follow- 
ing : — 

"4. Resolved that we humbly trust that we have the 
approbation of the great Head of the church in acknowl- 
edging Brethren and Sisters, Asa Baldwin, Joseph Walker, 
Solomon Stevens, Joseph Simonds, Levi Ball, Susanna 
Holt, Chloe Ball, Elizabeth Stevens, Unity Manning, 


Lucy Ball, Chloe Stevens, Almira Stevens, and their as- 
sociates, The First Baptist Church of Christ in Townsend, 
and under this impression, we cheerfully fellowship them 
as such." 

On the same day Levi Ball was chosen deacon of 
this church, and regularly ordained b}' the council. The 
ministers, who constituted this council, were Rev. Joseph 
Elliott, of New Ipswich, Rev. Bela Wilcox, of Mason, 
Rev. Samuel Everett, of Milford, New Hampshire, Rev. 
John Parkhurst, of Chelmsford, Rev. Abisha Sampson, of 
Harvard, and Rev. Amasa Sanderson, of Littleton. Mr. 
Sampson, was moderator, and Mr. Sanderson, scribe. 

These ministers in particular were invited to partici- 
pate in this council because most of the persons who asked 
for the inauguration of this new church were members of 
the churches in their several towns. 

The business of the council being completed, "Voted 
to adjourn to the congregational church, at 2 o'clock, for 
services." At that time and place, Levi Ball was ordained 
deacon of this church, by the reverend gentlemen of the 
council, with considerable "pomp and ceremony," each and 
all of these ministers taking some part in the services. 

It is certain that no better man than Mr. Ball could 
have been chosen and ordained to till this office. The 
ancestors of Mr. Ball came from Wiltshire, England. He 
was the grandson of Ebenezer Ball, who was the second 
child born (1729) in Townsend. He was an industrious, 
enterprising man, and greatly interested in the success of 
the baptist church and society. He died in 1849. 

There were two or three families in Townsend. of the 
baptist taith, about the commencement of the present 
century. These people were obliged, by law, to pay a 


regular tax for the support of the town's minister, besides 
being under a moral obligation to contribute towards 
baptist preaching in the towns from whence they came. 

At the annual town meeting, in March, 1805, the year 
after the present old meeting-house at the Centre was built, 
this article was in the town warrant : — 

"Article 7th. To see if the town will consider the 
baptists, in regard to their paying taxes towards the 
meeting-house and levelling the common." 

On this article, "Voted to abate Joseph Walkers poll 
tax in a tax called the glass tax, and one-half of his poll 
tax in a town tax of nine hundred dollars in Seth Lewis' 
tax list." 

The town also "considered the baptists" inasmuch as 
to grant them the use of the meeting-house a certain 
number of sabbaths during the year, for quite a number of 
consecutive 3xars. Usually their meetings were (previous 
to 1834) held in what was the battery school-house, where 
they had services part of the time, but not constant 

The church record for May 20th, 1833, shows the 
following : " Chose Rev. Caleb Brown our pastor." 
This gentleman labored until the summer of 1S35. The 
baptist meeting-house ha\ing been dedicated during the 
early part of the previous winter, and the church being 
increased some in numbers, so that the surroundings and 
circumstances began to be more favorable to this denomina- 
tion, an effort was made to secure the services of some one 
distinguished in the baptist denomination, for their pastor. 

In June of this year the church gave Rev. James 
Barnai'.v, pastor of the second baptist church in Lowell, 


an invitation to settle with them at the annual salary of five 
hundred dollars. There is nothing in the church records 
concerning his installation here, but the time ot' his coming 
is recorded: "Sept. 28, 1835, Mr. Barnaby removed 
among us and entered on his labors." A large number 
comparatively attended the meetings during Mr. Barnaby 's 
pastorate, but there was no special revival. In 1836, the 
church contained thirty-seven members. Mr. Barnaby at 
that time, was of prepossessing appearance and pleasing 
address. After the short pastorate of about two years, for 
certain reasons he asked his dismission, which was rather 
reluctantly granted, both pastor and church being much 
attached to each other. He was dismissed October 8, 
1837, when he removed to Harwich, where he was installed 
over the oldest baptist church in that part of the state. 
Since that time he has been settled at Deerfield, New 
Hampshire, where he occupied a parsonage, the buildings 
of which were burned, together with nearly all of his per- 
sonal property. He has also had a pastorate in five or six- 
other places. He was born at Freetown, June 25th, 1787 ; 
graduated at Brown University, 1809, died December loth, 
1877, at Harwich, leaving a widow six months his senior, 
with whom he lived sixty-seven years, each of which was 
devoted to the Master's service. He was an earnest, suc- 
cessful pastor at every place where he labored, and during 
the latter part of his life, from the deference paid to him 
by all denominations he was called, the ''Bishop of the 
Cape." A notice of him at his death says : "He baptized 
about two thousand eight hundred persons, four hundred 
of whom he received into the fellowship of this church;" 
meaning the baptist church, at Harwich, of which he was 
pastor at the time of his death. 


Rev. Oren Tracy, was the next minister. He came 
from Newport, New Hampshire, to this town, and com- 
menced his Libors February 3, 1838. There was a very 
pleasant intercourse between Mr. Tracy and this church 
and people. A baptist church in Fitchburg, being favor- 
ably impressed b}' Mr. Tracy, gave him a call with an 
offer of a larger salary, when "his duty" pointing in that 
direction, he asked his dismission in January, 1841, and 
soon departed to that place. 

In the spring of 1841, the church gave a call to Rev. 
Charles W. Reding, who was regularly installed soon 
after. He remained till July, 1844, when the society 
"Voted that the pastoral connection , between Rev. Mr. 
Reding and this church and society be dissolved." He 
was a polished man. 

Rev. W. C. Richards, was the successor of Mr. 
Reding. He was the pastor for two or three years, when 
the services of Rev. Caleb Blood were secured for about 
two 3'ears. He was grandson of his namesake, who was 
a distinguished man in the baptist denomination. 

Rev. F. G. Brown commenced preaching for the 
baptists in 1850. Rev. Lester Williams, Rev. E. A. 
Battell and Rev. F. G. Brown supplied the pulpit, 
each one about an equal length of time, from 1850 to i860. 
Mr. Williams, although a young man, was a capable, 
earnest preacher, and gave perfect satisfaction. 

Rev. George W. Ryan entered upon the labors of 
pastor of this church in i860, and continued about three 
years. Mr. Ryan took considerable interest in education. 


and served on the school committee, in which office he 
was well received. The baptist pulpit has been supplied 
at different times by the theological students at Newton, 
for months at a time. 

Rev. Willard P. Upham was pastor from 1867 to 
1872, or about six years. He was for a long time associ- 
ated with the Cherokee Indians as missionary and teacher, 
and afterwards, as pastor of the church connected with 
that intelligent tribe. He had considerable experience 
also at other places at the west. His pastorate was the 
longest of any person in the ministry who has labored 
with the baptists. Mr. Upham was an acceptable pastor, 
a diligent student, and a social gentleman. He was an 
invalid for sometime after leaving this town. He died in 

Rev. Oren K. Hunt, a graduate of Newton Theo- 
logical Seminary, was installed pastor of this church in 
June, 1874, ^^^^ ^^^ remained until the spring of 1877. 
when he was followed b}- Rev. William R. Thompson, 
who is the present pastor. 

In looking over the large number of pastors which 
this church has had during the half of a century of its 
existence, the question naturally arises, why has it had so 
many ? No difficulties have ever disturbed this church by 
having Kallocks or Beechers for pastors. There always 
has been extreme unanimity among the church members, 
its friends and patrons, still the pastorates of its ministers 
average less than three years, which certainly is at vari- 
ance with the customs of the fathers, who took t/ie/r minis- 
ters, like their wives, " during life."' If a clergyman has 


integrity of character, piety, learning, and scope of intel- 
lect sufficient to make himself acceptable to any church 
for three years, why cannot he continue to do so for tiye 
times three years ? 

The records of the baptist church are so meagre and 
incomplete, that it is impossible to giye as many facts and 
dates as are desirable. From the time of its formation to 
the present, it has annually been in receipt of pecuni- 
ary aid from the same society, which, in 1827, placed Mr. 
Dean in the missionary field. 

The Universalist Restoration Society, at West To\yn- 
send, was organized March 4th, 1848. The first disciples 
of Murray, at this yillage, howeyer, had enjoyed meetings 
for nearl}' ten years, preyious to that time. During the 
year 1839, Rev. John Pierce, a native of Lunenburg, 
was invited to preach to this society. This youthful min- 
ister supplied the pulpit here on alternate sabbaths for 
more than a year. He was a ready, extemporaneous 
speaker, agreeable in his person, and rather attractive in 
his manner of address. He died the next year, of con- 
sumption, much lamented b}^ his friends and the denomi- 
nation with which he was connected. 

At the time this society was organized, it was "Voted 
to take measures to build a meeting-house,'' and chose a 
"committee of eleven to carry the same into effect." Chose 
Zimri Sherwin, Stephen Dyer, Benjamin Barrett, Leyi 
Sherwin, William Nichols, Albert Howe, Joel Kendall, 
Ebenezer Rawson, Luke Wellington, Andrews Howe and 
John Whitcomb tor said committee. 

At an adjourned meeting "Voted that the building- 
committee issue one hundred and twenty shares, at twenty- 
ri\-e dollars a share, lor buildino- a meetin<r house," the 


committee to hold those shares in their hands as security 
tor their payment. It was intended that the money that 
accrued from the sale of the pews should, in the end, pay 
for a large portion of the expense of building the meeting- 
house. This house was finished in 1848. 

After the church building was completed, it was 
ascertained that there were about fort}' regular paying fam- 
ilies of this society (a part of which number belonged to 
Ashby), so that it was a comparatively easy matter to 
raise the $400 for a minister's salary. Of these forty fami- 
lies, only a few are now among the people here, and 
many are not to be found among the living. 

This meeting-house was built b}' Mr. Levi Sherwin. 
and it was dedicated January 25, 1849. Rev. Stillman 
Clark, of East Jaffrey, New Hampshire, preached an ap- 
propriate sermon, which was well received bv a full house. 

There never was a universalist church, which wor- 
shipped in this building, but in its stead "The Universalist 
Restoration Societ}-." The Rev. Stillman Clark was 
the first pastor of this society. He was here at first, about 
a year, when Rev. Varnum Lincoln succeeded him for 
about two years, when Mr. Clark returned and supplied 
the pulpit for a year or more. Both of these pastors were 
acceptable preachers, and both of them were honored by 
the town with seats on the board of school committee. 

In 1853, this society employed a man b}' the name 
of R. J. Chapman, who remained here for nearly two 
years, before the wolf in sheep's clothing was discovered. 

In June, 1855, Rev. C. C. Clark was settled as pastor 
over this restorationist societv. This engagement continued 


four years. After being absent in Pennsylvania until 1863, 
he returned to West Townsend, and again preached for 
the same society, about two years and a half, when the 
connection closed by mutual consent. During all this 
time, to the present (1877), Mr. Clark has kept his home 
in West Townsend, where he now resides with his com- 
panion, who has been a faithtu help-meet through all the 
trials and struggles of a ministry of thirty-five years. 

Since the close of Mr. Clark's pastorate, there has 
been no preaching for the universalist society, except at 
two or three different times during the holidays : yet the 
people who constituted this society, who are still among 
the living, consider that their is much more liberality 
among other denominations, than there was twenty-eight 
years ago, when the Universalist Restoration Society, in 
West Townsend, was tbunded. 



The Fii-st Meeting-house and its Location — "Pew Ground" — •• Seatinj*' 
the Meeting-house "* — Controversy about the Location of the 
Second Meeting-house — Memoirs of John Hale. Oliver Prescott 
and John Dunsmoor, the Committee Chosen to Locate this House 
— Names of the Pew Holders in the Second Meeting-house- 
Action of the Town in Regard to Moving the Second Meeting- 
house to its Present Location at the Central Village— Tlie First 
Bell in Town— The Congregational Meeting-house— The Baptist 

It has been heretofore mentioned, that the settlers did 
not strictly conform to the terms of the grant of 17 19, in 
several particulars. The ''convenient house for the Wor- 
ship of God" was not built either at Turkey Hills (Lunen- 
burg), or at The North Town, until nearly ten vears alter 
these two towns were granted. The condition was that 
meeting-houses shovild be built within four vears from the 
date of the grant. 

In September, 1728, the town of Lunenburg voted 
to raise the sum of £200 ($88.88) for building and finish- 
ing a meeting-house, "so far as it will do or answer there- 
Ibr." In 1 73 1, a pulpit and "a body of sects" were built in 
this house, which was tbrty-hve feet long and t]iirt\'-five 
feet wide. 


The Townsend records of this period are lost, but 
from this account of the transactions in Lunenburg, it may 
be inferred that our house of worship was of similar size 
and value. It was a mere shell. The amount, £15, which 
the proprietors voted to raise, to "ease the hard bargain" 
of the contractors, when reduced to federal money, is only 
about $3.90, from which fact it may be inferred that the 
meeting-house in Townsend could not have been very 
expensive. Money was quite scarce at that time, and 
most business was transacted by barter trades. 

As has been shown by Samuel Danforth's report to the 
Great and General Court, our meeting-house was erected 
before 1730, so that both of these towns erected houses of 
worship at about the same time. 

The first meeting-house in Townsend was located on 
the summit of the hill, about a mile easterly of the com- 
mon at the centre of the town, on the west side of the 
road leading over the hill, in the extreme northeast corner 
of land, now enclosed at that part, by stone walls, with 
the parsonage left by Lieut. Amos Whitney. A portion 
of the land that was the town's common when this house 
was built, is now enclosed with the parsonage farm at that 
cornfer, and some of the coarser stones of the foundation of 
this house, may now be seen in the walls at that place. 

It is a singular circumstance, that there never were 
more than two or three frame houses on this hill, near the 
spot which the town had selected for its religious and 
municipal centre. 

The prospect, from this stand-point, is exceedingly 
beautiful and picturesque. Large portions of the towns of 
Lunenburg and Groton at the south and southeast, with the 
steeples, landscapes and white farm-houses of these old 


towns ; together with the hills and mountain slopes, at the 
west and northwest, dotted over with dwellings, fields and 
forests, all present a charming panorama. This location 
must have had peculiar attractions for our ancestors, as 
this house of worship was placed more than two miles 
from the centre of the town as it was incorporated. 

A pulpit and some body seats were made in this house 
soon after the church was gathered. In February, 1735, 
the "pew ground" was laid out. and the committee ap- 
pointed to do this work ''Being again meet together 
prefered men to their pitches as followeth." 

Then follow the names of the most prominent men of 
the town, "Capt. John Stevens" being the first name 
recorded. The following extract from the record will 
sufficiently explain the language above quoted : — 

"Voted that the rule that the committee chosen to lay 
out the pew ground in the meeting-house in Townshend 
shall be as follows (viz) that they shall prefer those per- 
sons in said town to their choice of pew ground, that have 
paid the most towards the preaching of the Gospel, in said 
town, and towards building the meeting-house." 

For about half a century after the town was chartered, 
a committee was chosen, at each annual town meeting, 
in March, to seat the meeting-house, sometimes called 
"dignifying the meeting-house." Two rows of long, plain 
benches, with an aisle in the centre leading from the pulpit 
to the front of the house, and passage wavs around the 
walls of the building, constituted the seating accommoda- 
tions of the ground floor of the first meeting-house. 

The seats nearest to the minister were considered the 
most eligible. The "committee chosen to lay out the pew 


ground" at that time was the committee chosen to seat the 
meeting-house. Several times, the town instructed their 
committee in the manner the house was to be seated. 

Persons who paid the most towards preaching were 
allowed "the uppermost seats in the synagogue." The 
selectmen, deacons of the church, and other officers of 
acknowledged rank, generally had the first seats. A town 
in this vicinity "Voted that the committee be instructed to 
seat the meeting-house according to quality." 

From this it may be inferred that even in the days of 
the puritans, there w-as an aristocracy ; tor this word 
"quality" signified nothing else except the degree of wealth 
and good clothes which these worshippers possessed. So 
far as the apparel was concerned, this was a good rule 
according to the maxim, "cleanliness is next to Godliness." 

The custom of leaving the meeting-house in those 
days, and long afterwards, was quite commendable. After 
the benediction, the minister would walk out of the house, 
gracefully bowing to the people on both sides of the aisle, 
hat in hand, all remaining standing ; then the deacons 
would follow their pastor, and after they had passed nearly 
out the congregation would quietly leave without any noise 
or confusion. It is said that this practice had its origin from 
the fact that the people regarded it as a matter of disrespect 
to turn their backs upon the clergy. However this might 
have been, the exits of these congregations w^ould strike 
any orderly person much more favorably, than the present 
careless and jostling manner in which our churches are 
vacated at the close of service. 

The folloNving extracts from the town records will 
show that this house was rude in the extreme, and never 
finished. A building of this kind would not well comport 


with our ideas of a church edifice ; but considering that 
this was the first building in town that was covered with 
sawed lumber, all of which was brought from Groton. and 
the scanty means and small number of inhabitants the 
town contained one hundred and forty-six years ago, it 
may be fairly supposed, that this house was the result of 
an extraordinary effort. 

In May, 175 1, "Secondly, voted to finish two seats 
round in the gallery and place two pillars under the galler}" 
sills. Thirdly, voted to choose a committee of three men 
to finish the same." 

In 1753, "Voted to sell the pew ground in the southeast 
corner of the meeting-house at a vandue ; the same being 
sold to John Stevens Jun'". : he being the highest bidder, 
for twenty pounds old tenor." 

In 1759, or about thirty years after the house was 
built, "Voted to grant the ground where the platform is 
now laid in the front gallery of the meeting-house, to 
Jonathan Patt and others to build a pew on, provided they 
build the same and seal up the four side of the meeting- 
house between the stairs up to the plait b}- the first of 
September next." 

In 1763, a window was made back of the pulpit, and 
at the same town meeting which ordered the window. 
"Voted to give Capt. Daniel Taylor and Lieut. Emerv 
£6 13s. 4d. to lath and plaster and whitewash the meeting- 
house overhead." Rescinded this vote in 1769. 

In 1768, "Voted to give liberty to William Stevens and 
others petitioners with him to build a pew in the meeting- 
house over the mens stairs." 

The men occupied the west gallery and the women 
the east, hence "the mens stairs." It thus appears that 


this tirst meeting-house was never finished. There was no 
ceiling or plastering overhead, and but little of either kind 
of finish on the inner walls. At this time the house 
needed considerable repairs and was too small to accom- 
modate the congregation that went to hear the sound of the 
gospel as proclaimed by Rev. Mr. Dix, so that in May, 
1769, the town "Voted to build a new meeting-house 
within thirty feet north of the old one if that will accom- 
modate better." 

Previous to the time that it was found necessary to 
build a new meeting-house, there was complete unanimity 
among the people of Townsend. The combativeness of 
its citizens had nearly spent itself, in the controversy with 
Dunstable about the dividing line, but at this period con- 
siderable feeling, among themselves, was manifested in 
regard to the location of the new meeting-house. The 
south part of the town wanted the house to be located on 
the southerly side of the hill, near the parsonage, while 
the north part were anxious to have it at the north side of 
the hill, near the burying ground ; others thought that the 
new house should be located where the old one stood. 

From May to October, 1769, the merits of these two 
chosen places were discussed quite freely and with consid- 
erable excitement. There was about an equal number on 
each side, and finding it almost impossible to agree upon 
a site upon which to build their meeting-house, it was 
decided to refer the matter to three disinterested men, and 
their decision was to be final and binding in every particu- 

October 12, 1769, "Voted to choose a committee of 
three men to state the place where a new meeting-house 
shall be ; whether at or near where the old meeting-house 


now Stands or at either of the places that shall be ap- 
pointed by the north or south part of inhabitants of said 
town, on said meeting house hill. Chosen for said com- 
mittee John Heald Esq. of Hollis, Doctor Prescott of 
Groton and Doctor Densmore of Lunenburg." 

This meeting adjourned till October 31st, when the 
committee of doctors, who healed this fracture, appeared 
and submitted the following report, which was accepted 
and adopted : — 

"The subscribers, a committee appointed by the inhabi- 
tants of the Town of Townshend at a legal town meeting 
holden October 12, 1769 for the purpose within mentioned, 
have this day attended upon the business, and having full}- 
heard all parties concerned, and duly considered of the 
affair, are of the opinion that it will be most ornamental 
for the Town, and most convenient for the inhabitants 
thereof, to set the front sill of the new meeting house, 
sixteen feet from the back sill of the old meedng house, or 
thereabouts, which we submit to said town for their ac- 

"Townshend Oct. 31, 1769 

John Hale ^ 

Oliver Prescott > Committee" 

John Dunsmoor ) 

It would appear on the face of this report, that the 
removal of the location only sixteen feet, needed some 
explanation. A flat, broad ledge, of the peculiar kind ot 
rock on this hill, cropped out just at the front of the old 
meedng-house, over which the travel had passed for more 
than forty years. The slight difference of sixteen feet 
would leave the ledge in the form of a terrace in front of 
the new meeting-house. This also explains the language 


of the record, "Voted to build a new meeting-house within 
thirty feet north of the old one, if that will accommodate 

It may be interesting to know who these men were 
who chose this location, and in whom the good people of 
Townsend placed such unreserved confidence. The 
tbllowing memoir of John Hale is from Kidder's History of 
the First New Hampshire Continental Regiment : — 

John Hale was in early life settled in Hollis, New 
Hampshire, as a physician. In 1755, he was surgeon's 
mate in Col. Blanchard's First New Hampshire regiment, 
in an expedition to Crown Point against the French, and 
in 1758, was surgeon in Col. Hart's regiment, which was 
at the Crown Point expedition of that vear. In 1768, he 
was representative to the Legislature from the associated 
towns of Hollis and Dunstable, and at the beginning of 
the Revolution, he was colonel of a regiment of militia, 
composed of soldiers from Hollis and the adjoining towns. 
He was a member of the convention that sat at Exeter, in 
April, 1775, and assisted in inaugurating the measures to 
organize the regiments that fought at Bunker Hill, and 
was also in the field a large part of that year. His sister 
(Abigail Hale,) was the wife of Col. Prescott, the hero of 
Bunker Hill, and as their residences were only three miles 
apart, their intercourse was frequent and always friendly. 
During 1775 and 1776, he was much engaged in aiding the 
cause by raising soldiers as well as assisting in the councils 
of the State. On the re-organization of the First New 
Hampshire Regiment he was appointed surgeon, and 
entered on his duty May 8, 1777. It is supposed that most 
of the regiment was then at Ticonderoga, or on the way 


there. He was with the regiment, through the campaigns 
and battles of that year and the next, and in the expedition 
to the Indian country in 1779. Resigned June nth, 1780. 
Returning home his influence was exerted in raising men 
and means till the end of the war. He was often a mem- 
ber of the Legislature. He was distinguished as a physi- 
cian and had a large practice. 

The following is the inscription on his tombstone at 
Hollis :— 



Who was born Oct. 24, 1731, 
And died Oct. 22, 1791. 

"How soon our new-born light attains full aged 
And then how soon the gray haired night. 
We spring, we bud, we blossom and we blast, 
Ere we can count our days, they fly so fast." 

Oliver Prescott was the son of Hon. Benjamin 
Prescott, who has been partially sketched in another part 
of this work, born at Groton, 1731, and was graduated at 
Harvard College, 1750. He settled in Groton, and was 
a pracdcal physician in that town lor nearh' half a centurv. 
He was very successful and popular in that profession. 
For the period of thirteen years he was town clerk of 
Groton. He held many civil offices. He was appointed by 
the King major in the militia, then lieutenant-colonel and 
colonel. When the revolutionary war broke out he espoused 
the cause of freedom, and early in the vear 1776. he was 


appointed brigadier-general, and he mustered and or- 
ganized the miHtia of Middlesex county. His judgment 
on military matters was very valuable at that time. In 
1778, he was appointed the third major-general of the 
militia throughout the commonwealth. In 1799 he received 
the appointment of Judge of Probate for the count}' of 
Middlesex, which office he held until his death in 1804. 
He was the most influential man in this vicinity and well 
worthy of being a brother of the hero of Bunker Hill. 
He was learned without ostentation, popular without being 
a demagogue, and extremely prepossessing in his appear- 
ance, apparently without knowing it. 

John Dunsmoor was born in Scotland, in 1720. He 
had some of the advantages of the literary institutions of 
his native country, but probably neither his culture in 
general, or his preparation in particular, lor the profession 
of his choice, entitled him to a high rank. A correspon- 
dent says of him : "He was a remarkable man." He came 
to this country in his early manhood, and soon after settled 
in Lunenburg, where he resided till his death, in 1794. 
He possessed excellent natural abilities, joined with a good 
amount of perseverance. He was very eccentric withal, 
and occasionally put on a rough deportment almost repul- 
sive. He had a large practice and was considered not 
only a verv skilful physician but a good surgeon. 

Mav 28, 1770, "Voted to choose a committee to carry 
on the aflair of raising the new meeting-house. Voted 
that this committee be directed to provide jins and roaps 
nesesarv for the same, also to choose such hands to raise 
the same as they think proper, and to make suitable pro- 
visions for their entertainment, and to provide some person 


that can splise roaps if they brake, all at the towns cost. 
Voted that the committee find licker Monday and Tuesday 
at the towns cost." 

This house was finished so far that it was occupied 
during the latter part of 1771. Among the list of baptisms 
by Rev. Mr. Dix, this is recorded: "Oct. 27, 1771, Bap- 
tized Gains, son of Eleazer Spaulding, in y*^ new meeting 

This is the only instance where any meeting or cere- 
mony is represented as having occurred in the new meeting- 
house. This edifice was a great improvement on the house 
for which it was substituted, it being amply capacious for 
the population of the town, which, according to the colonial 
census of 1770, contained about seven hundred inhabitants. 
The precaution in regard to raising this building was 
timely and judicious, considering the heavy square timber 
used in the frame thereof, some of which may now be seen 
beneath the roof of the old meeting-house on the common. 
This house was clapboarded, and the window, and door 
frames and the doors, were painted on the outside during 
the summer of 1771. 

October 20, 1772, "Voted that those persons who 
purchased the pews on the lower floor of the meeting 
house, should have their names recorded on the town 
book, and the number of the pew they drawed, which 
stands in course as they drawed them." 

It appears that thirty-five citizens shared equally in the 
expense of making as man}- pews on the ground floor of 
this house, and in regard to a choice in them, the owners 
agreed to decide the matter by "casting lots." Consider- 
ing that these men were the "solid men" of Townsend, 
one hundred years ago, and that their descendants con- 
stitute quite a number of the inhabitants of this town at 



the present time, it has been considered in good taste to 
copy their names and titles as they are on record : — 


. Amos Whitney No 

. I 

Oliver Hildreth No 


John Conant 


James Waugh 

■ 20 


Daniel Taylor 


James Sloan " 


Israel Hobart " 

4 Ens. 

Wm. Richardson " 

' 22 

Daniel Adams " 


James Hosley " 

■ 23 

Benjamin Brooks " 


William Smith " 

• 24 

David Spafford " 


Isaac Wallis " 

• 25 

William Clark " 

8 Ens. 

Isaac Farrar " 

• 26 

Robert Campbell " 


Jeremiah Ball 

• 27 


. Zacheriah Emery "• 


Zebediah Wallis - 

• 28 

Oliver Proctor " 


John Waugh " 

• 29 

Timothy Davis " 


Lemuel Patts " 

• 30 

Jonathan Wallis " 

13 Maj 

. Henry Price* 

■ 31 

Isaac Spalding " 


Samuel Wesson " 

■ 32 


. Ephraim Heald " 


Thomas Reed 

' 33 

Sarah Conant " 


James Stevens, Jr.' 

' 34 


. Benjamin Brooks '' 
Uriah Sartell " 


Joseph Balding 

• 35 

In May, i'J^3-, "Put to vote to see if the town will 
alter the deacons' seat in the meeting house and it past in 
the Negative." At a town meeting the next October, 
"Voted to provide handsome door stones for the meeting 
house, and chose a committee to do the same." 

This second meeting-house was at this time finished 
in a manner well adapted to the wants of the town. It 
was about the same style, both in architecture and finish, 
as were most of the New England church buildings of that 
period. Within its consecrated w^ills, the followers of 
the Master worshipped, the citizens devised plans to meet 
all the wants of the town in its corporate capacity, the 

'First Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Ameri 


training band assembled to organize and listen to the 
reading ot' the militia law, the "committee of safety" held 
consultations, the selectmen discussed their duties, and 
the smouldering patriotism of an oppressed people burst 
into a flame. 

This house was the Faneuil Hall of Townsend. Dur- 
ing the war of the revolution, our continental soldiers, with 
dark forebodings, turned back in their outward journey, to 
take a last look at this structure, endeared to them by 
tender associations ; and after long years of anxiety and 
suspense, after many eyes had been made tearful by the 
loss of brothers, husbands and lathers, who never returned : 
when the news of victory came, what sincere gratitude to 
the God of battles, whxit songs of thanksgiving and praise 
ascended from the altar in this humble sanctuarv. 

Through the year 1797, considerable dislike was 
manifested towards the uncentrical location of this meeting- 
house ; besides, the house itself needed some repairs. The 
expense of maintaining a road over the ledges and steep 
grades of meeting-house hill, was an objection that had an 
influence with many. In some seasons there was no water 
to be obtained at or very near the summit of this hill. 

In March, 1798, an article was inserted in the war- 
rant calling a town meeting, in the following words : "7th. 
To see if the town will find the centre of their town and 
say where their meeting house ought to stand." 

It ma}' be presumed from this record, that there was at 
that time considerable conversation about a new meeting- 
house. At the meeting of the town, this article was passed 
over, but this action of the town did not stop the current in 
favor of a new meeting-house. From this time till 1803. 
for more than five years, when the moving of the old 


meeting-house and making of a new one was finally 
agreed upon, the town met at thirteen different times to 
deliberate upon the subject, several of these meetings 
however, were adjourned meetings. The particular diffi- 
culty in the way, and what was most discussed was the 
disposal of the pews in the old meeting-house, or rather 
how much the old pew should go towards a new one in the 
contemplated house. 

In October, 1799, "The town voted to find a suitable 
place near the centre of the town for the meeting-house to 
stand on, by taking an actual survey of the town and travel 
collectively ; having due respect to the lands unsettled, 
which by its quality may become inhabited in future time," 
and chose a committee for that object and purpose. 

This committee consisting of sixteen citizens of which 
Jonathan Wallis was chairman, reported the next month, 
recommending the spot where this house now stands at the 
centre of the town, for the location of their new meeting- 
house. The chairman and three others of this committee 
were of the number who, in 1772, drew lots for their pews 
in the house about to be removed. 

The town at different times while the matter was 
under consideration, passed votes and then rescinded 
them, chose committees but refused to listen to their sug- 
gestions, debated the subject both in public and in private, 
agreed to a certain style of architecture, but afterwards 
altered it, and "agreed to disagree," until midwinter of 
1804, when the job was let out, to Messrs. Moses and 
Aaron Warren, to move and finish this second meeting- 
house of Townsend, into the third meeting-house in town, 
to be completed during the year 1804. The building com- 
mittee reported that the house should have three porches. 


but subsequently, January 6, 1804, "Voted to build a 
belfry and a suitable place to hang a bell according to a 
former vote of the town in lieu of a porch, on condition 
that there shall be money subscribed, sufficient to purchase 
a bell." 

Previous to the removal there was considerable talk 
about enlarging this house, but it was finally agreed to re- 
move it, set up and renovate it, without any enlargement, 
except the porches. 

This house is sixty feet in length and forty-five feet in 
width. It was "situated due east and west," in its new 
location, the belfry on the west end, a porch on the east 
end and a porch on the south side. Above the entrance 
on the south porch were the gilded letters. "Built 1804." 
There were three entrances, one at each end and one in 
front. The pulpit was on the north side of the house, 
opposite the front door, a broad aisle extending from one 
to the other, dividing the ground floor of the house into 
two equal parts. There was also an aisle surrounding the 
house, next to the wall pews. There were two entrances to 
the galleries by flights of stairs, one in the east porch, and 
the other in the belfry at the west end. The galleries were 
well supported by large turned pillars. There was a row 
of wall pews, twenty-four in number, surrounding the 
house both above and below. They were not like the 
sloping, sofa-like slips now in fashion, but were about six 
feet square ; the walls were high and had a railing around 
the top, supported by nicely turned, little, hard-wood bal- 
usters, fitted into round holes both at the top and the 
bottom, which on the slightest touch would revolve and 
squeak like a nest of young mice. A row of uncushioned 
seats surrounded the interior of these pews, and often a 
flag-bottomed chair was place in the centre thereof. The 


seats were hung by hinges so that they might be turned 
up as the congregation rose for prayers ; and at the close 
of the invocation they were carelessly let down witli a 
noise similar to an irregular volley of small-arms. Over 
the stairs, at the west end, were the seats for the negroes, 
the small remnant of the race that were here at the com- 
mencement of the present century. The singers had the 
front of the gallery opposite the pulpit, which was lofty, 
finished with curious panel work and mouldings. "The 
pulpit had a recess or rostrum in which the speaker stood ; 
behind him was a curtainless arched wundow^ ; above him 
was a curious canopy, about six feet in diameter, re- 
sembling in form a turnip cut in two transversely. It was 
called a sounding-board, and hung near the speaker's 
head, by a slender iron rod from the ceiling, so slender 
as to have excited apprehensions and speculatipns in many 
a youthful mind as to the probability of its falling ; and 
beneath him in front of the pulpit, were the deacons' seats 
in a sort of pen, where they sat facing the congregation, 
with the communion table hanging by hinges in front of 

It must not be forgotten that this house, for more than a 
quarter of a century from the time of its erection, was well 
tilled with attentive listeners, coming from all parts of the 
town, at each returning sabbath. Moses Warren, the prin- 
cipal contractor for moving and renovating this house, had 
just completed the tavern house now standing at the west 
side of the river at the central village, besides there were 
three or four dwelling-houses and John Giles' saw and 
grist mill at or near what is now Townsend Centre. 

Tlie New Hampshire turnpike was finished about this 
time, passing directlv in Iront of this church, and con- 
vergent town roads were commenced and finislied to this 


common centre of the town. The citizens appreciating 
the eligibihty of the location for their meeting-house, and 
desiring to make it more easy of access, August 28, 1804, 
before the house was ready for occupancy, "Voted to raise 
three hundred dollars, to be worked out in levelling the 
new common around the new meeting-house ; and chose 
Lieut. Samuel Stone, John Giles and Ebenezer Stone a 
committee to conduct the same." 

In May, 1852, after sectarianism had done its work, 
after the unitarians had decreased to a small number, its 
influential men at the start being either gone or dead, 
Charles Powers and others, in the interest of the methodists, 
bought this house from the unitarians, turned the west end 
of the same to the south, and fitted it up in its present 
style. Since that time, the methodists have rented the 
lower part of it to the town for a town hall, and occupied 
the upper part as an auditorium, in which thev have 
enjoyed an uninterrupted preaching of the Gospel to the 
present time. 

It has been conceded by competent judges, that the 
steeple, or tower, on this edifice has good architectural pro- 
portions, and is as well adapted to the main building as 
anything of the kind in this vicinit}'. 

The first church bell ever in Townsend, was obtained 
by mone}^ subscribed for that purpose, in the summer of 
1804. The tradition that a bell was given to this town by 
the Englishman for whom Townsend was named, and that 
the same was sold to pay the freight, and subsequentlv was 
hung on one of the Boston churches, is without doubt 
incorrect. It has been ascertained that the town of Mason 
and one or two other towns have the same legend ; besides, 
if the town had been in expectancy of such a gift, an effort 



would have been made to erect a tower suitable for its 
reception. This bell came to this town soon after the 
second meeting-house was taken down and before its erec- 
tion where it now stands, and it was stored in the shed at 
the parsonage. During the pleasant sabbaths of that 
summer, meetings were held under the shading elms 
easterl}^ of the parsonage, and this bell was struck to 
announce the hour for commencement of services. 

February 4th, 1805, the town "Voted to pay Hezekiah 
Richardson $39.38 for hanging the bell." 

To the people of 1876 this would appear to be an 
extravagant charge, from the fact that one of our towns- 
men, by the same name (Mr. Levi Richardson), during 
this year hung three church bells in this town gratiiitoiislx ; 
one on each of the churches at the Centre, and one at 
West Townsend. The bell hung b}' the aforesaid Heze- 
kiah, was cracked in the year 1818, when a new bell 
weighing about 1500 pounds was purchased by subscribers, 
the old one going in part to pay for the new one. This 
bell, after the church pi'operty, including the parsonage, 
passed into the hands of what was called the tirst parish, 
or the unitarians, was removed by them to their new 
meeting-house at the Harbor, and subsequentl}- it was sold 
to pay the debts of that society. 

From that time till 1876 this church was minus a bell, 
when the methodists experiencing a revival which added 
considerably both to their spiritual and pecuniarv strength, 
• and the town having inaugurated a tire department and 
desiring a heavier bell, the liberal citizens at the central 
village, and some others, by subscription, furnished the 
money for the purchase of the present bell, which tolls 


regularly and gently for the presence of the evening wor- 
shippers, and occasionally sends forth the clangorous notes 
of alarm, for brave hearts and willing hands to subdue the 
insatiable element. 

The orthodox congregational meeting-house was com- 
pleted and dedicated in June, 1830. Some of the men 
who seceded from the old church, just previous to that 
time, possessing a good amount of wealth, and not lacking 
in either enterprise or will, were determined to have a first 
class church edifice. With much unanimity this society 
agreed both on the location for their meeting-house and 
the manner in which it was to be built. This fourth 
meeting-house of Townsend is made of brick, and in every 
particular, is much superior to any church building ever 
built in this town ; and it reflects credit upon the taste and 
good judgment of the men who designed the same and 
furnished the money with which it was erected. 

With the exception of a change in the pulpit and some 
internal wall decorations, it remains substantially the same 
as when it came from the hands of Josiah Sawtelle, its 
architect and builder. The clock in the tower of this 
church was presented by Deacon Joel Adams and Samuel 
Adams, his son. A bell weighing about 2000 pounds, 
purchased by subscription, was hung on this house soon 
after it was finished, which was in constant use from that 
time till 1876, when it was cracked and another one was 
put in its place. 

The dme-piece, which graces the front of the singers' 
gallery, was the gift of Mrs. Lucv Stone, at a cost of fifty 
dollars. The flagons, cups and plates, at present in use 
by this church, as sacramental furniture, and a baptismal 
basin, were purchased by the legacy of one hundred 


dollars from Deacon Daniel Adams, agreeably to the terms 
of his will. 

The baptist church, at the west village, w^as the fifth 
church edifice erected in Townsend. A committee was 
chosen in the autumn of 1833, consisting of Levi Warren, 
Levi Ball, Jacob Sanders, Ralph Warren, and Jeptha 
Cummings, to receive proposals for building a meeting- 
house, sixty-four feet long, forty-five feet wide, with posts 
twent}-four feet in height ; and this committee closed a 
contract, with Josiah Sawtelle, to build this house, which 
was to be completed before October i, 1834. Some devia- 
tion from the written agreement, mutually understood, 
delayed the completion of this house for nearly two months. 
It was dedicated January 15, 1835. A number of digni- 
taries of the baptist denomination, including three or four 
doctors of divinity, besides a large and appreciative audi- 
ence, were in attendance. Dr. Sharp, of Boston, preached 
the sermon, and Dr. Hague, of that city, assisted in the 
services on that occasion. Ample preparations were made 
by the citizens of the village for a sumptuous dinner, after 
the dedicatory services were ended, and at several tables 
in different parts of West Townsend, peculiarly appetiz- 
ing spreads were presented ; and many visitors and friends 
attested to the hospitality of the patrons and members of 
the "First Baptist Society of Townsend." 

This meeting-house is a fac simile of a meeting-house 
that was in Fitchburg, which so favorably impressed the 
building committee, in regard to its proportions and con- 
venience, that it was the model for their house. This 
building was renovated in 1873, by being newly plastered, 
painted, and paper-frescoed : a new pulpit, an appropriate 


chandelier and side lights, were inserted at that time. For 
this improvement the baptist people are under special 
obligations to Messrs. Edward Ordway and John M. 
Bruce, who solicited the money for that purpose. It would 
be difficult to find fault either with the location, the inter- 
nal arrangements, or the taste exhibited in the finish of 
this neat, unostentatious chapel. 

From the day it was decided to erect this house of 
worship, to the present time, the baptist church has been 
continually the recipient of the favors of the Warren family. 
Mr. Levi Warren not only gave the land on which this 
building stands but he gave nearly one-third of the money 
required to build this house. Mr. Moses Warren gave the 
bell, which was hung in the belfry when the edifice was 
completed. Mr. Charles Warren* gave both the clock on 
the tower, and the one inside which hangs in front of the 
singers' gallery. Among those who contributed liberally 
towards the funds necessary to build this house, nine, by 
the name of Warren, gave freely; and, ever since that 
time, when the money needed to defray the expenses of 
preaching has not been easily obtained, Levi, Moses, 
Aaron, Ralph, Dorman, and other Warrens, and those 
who intermarried with the Warrens, have "come to the 

* Charles Warreu was tlie son of Tliomas Warren. He amassed a large fortune in 
business, in Boston, and lost it. On account of his integrity, he was afterwards 
appointed agent of a large establishment engaged in the manufacture of cotton goods. 
During the war of the rebellion, he went out to Central America, and engaged m the 
cultivation of cotton. This business was a success. While passing from one part ot 
the country to another, in company of guides, he was murdered by them lor his 
money. He was an amiable, benevolent gentleman, who kindly remembered his birth- 
place in the days of his prosperity. He was unmarried. 



"• The Trainiiio- Band" — "-The Alarm List" — Division of the Town into 
Two Military Companies— The North Company— The South 
Company — List of the Captains of these Companies— Townsend 
Light Infantrj^ — Its Captains— Cemeteries-Land Given by AVil- 
liam Clark— Burying Ground Near the Common at the Centre 
of the Town— Its Enlargement m 1854— Gift of [.and for a Ceme- 
tery at West ToAvnsend by Levi Warren— The Stocks, an Instru- 
ment of Torture to the Flesh— Amos Whitney's Will— His Epi- 

The militaiy spirit among the people of the province 
of Massachusetts, from the time of the incorporation of 
the town to 1775, was rather on the wane. Most of the 
collisions between the settlers and the Indians occurred 
previous to 1732. There is no record concerning any 
military company in this town, previous to the revolution- 
ary war, w^hereas, every town of sufficient inhabitants had 
an organized military company. It was customary in those 
days to give every man his title, civil as well as military, 
whether he was addressed orally or by manuscript. In the 
town records, at an earh' period, the names of Dea. Isaac 
Spaulding, Capt. John Stevens, Lieut. Daniel Taylor, 
Ensign John Farrar and Ensign Amos Whitney, are of 
frequent occurrence. Twenty years afterwards, more or 


less, the names oi Capt. Daniel Taylor, and Lieut. Amos 
Whitney, are in the records, which is sufficient proof that 
they were a part of the military officers of the town, for a 
long time. These puritans were slow in their movements 
in discharging an officer, as long as he was faithful to his 
trust. No whim or caprice was allowed to disturb a cap- 
tain, a deacon, or a minister, and their offices in man^ 
instances ended with their lives. 

It is impossible to describe, with any degree of accu- 
racy, the military organizations of the town from the 
breaking out of the revolution to the commencement of 
the present century. The "training band" of the records, 
consisted, as is supposed, of the robust yeomen of the 
town, able-bodied, and in the full vigor of manhood, who 
were liable, at any and all times, to be called to the 
defence of the province. The "Alarm List" contained the 
names of persons who were either too young or too old to 
endure the hardships of war, but on an emergency, or as 
a home guard, could render efficient service. Persons less 
than eighteen or over fifty years of age are supposed to 
have belonged to the alarm list. It is probable, considering 
the excitement caused by the Shay's rebellion, and owing 
to other causes, that nearly every man in town during the 
next ten years, after the British troops were withdrawn 
from our borders, was well acquainted with the use of the 
flint-lock musket. 

The first record of an}- military organization was the 
division of the town, in order to have two militar}- com- 
panies ; all persons liable, living north of the county road, 
made up the north company, and all south of that high- 
way, the south company. This arrangement was observed 
till 1801, when the turnpike was built and that road was 
made the dividing line between the two companies. 


The most prominent men in town were selected as 
military officers. Men of w^ealth only could afford to hold 
a commission, for all officers were subject to considerable 
expense to conform to the custom of that period in furnish- 
ing liquors for the men. It was considered a great honor 
at that time to be dubbed with a militar}- title, and very 
dishonorable in any officer not to furnish ardent spirit in 

The orderW books of these two companies, that of 
the south company, as early as 1788, and that of the north 
company, commencing 1792, are still in good condition, 
from which the names of the captains are taken. 

Captains of South Company : — 

William Stevens, from 1788 to 1790. 
Zacheriah Hildreth, from 1790 to 1796. 
Timothy Fessenden, from 1796 to 1801. 
Eliab Going, from 1801 to 1804. 
Hezekiah Richardson, from 1804 to 1807. 
William Archibald, from 1807 to 1810. 
Isaac Spalding, from 1810 to 181 2. 
James Adams, from 1812 to 1815. 
Isaac Kidder, from 1815 to 181 7. 

Captains of North Company : — 

John Campbell, from 1792 to 1798. 
Jonathan Wallis, from 1798 to 1802. 
Samuel Brooks, from 1802 to 1805. 
Joseph Adams, from 1805 to 1808. 
Walter Hastings, from 1808 to 181 2. 
John Waugh, from 181 2 to 1815. 
George Wallace, 181 5. 

These two companies were kept up with considerable 
interest till 1817. when the Townsend Light lnfantr\- was 


organized. After that time it appears that all soldiers in 
town, not belonging to the light infantry, were gathered 
into one company. The records of this corps are not to 
be found, but the following are the names of most, if not 
all, of the captains of this company : — Whitney Farmer, 
Daniel Giles, Samuel Brooks, Elnathan Davis, Solomon 
Jewett, Noal Ball, Robert T. Woods, and Beriah Blood. 

The interest in the militia began to decrease about the 
time the temperance cause commenced. Previous to this 
time, the social principle among the people caused the two 
or three days of the 3'ear devoted to military duty to pass 
away in an agreeable manner. Notwithstanding the large 
quantity of liquor foolishly used at that time, perhaps there 
was no more drunkenness then, than at present. It is well, 
however, that a large portion of the citizens of the town, 
gave up painting their faces and commenced painting their 

In 1837, ^ ^^^""^ ^^'^^ enacted making all military duty 
voluntary, which set aside all the uniformed companies. 
Many considered the expense of the system as unneces- 
sary. It grew unpopular from many causes. The clergy 
preached against it ; peace societies were formed and peace 
conventions assembled. The excellent advice of Wash- 
ington, "In time of peace prepare for war," was regarded 
as old-fashioned, and applicable to some other nation. 
Had it not been for a few regiments of volunteer militia, 
from Massachusetts and New York, in 1861, the capi- 
tol of the nation probably would have fallen into rebel 

On petition of Levi Warren, Walter Hastings, and 
others, the Townsend Lio'ht Infantry was chartered, in 


1817. This company commenced under favorable circum- 
stances, and it was kept up, with much interest, for .more 
than thirty years. Its ranks were kept full for more than 
ten years after military duty was not compulsory. It lived 
long enough to wear out three sets of uniforms in different 
styles and colors. This company was a well disciplined 
corps, and on various occasions upon its appearance out 
of town on parade, for its soldierly bearing and general 
good appearance, it received many compliments from 
military men. The Prescott Guards, of Pepperell, and 
the Townsend Light Infantry, were considered the best 
companies in the regiment to which they belonged. 

On the fourth of July, 1822, at a celebration on the 
common, at the centre of the town, this company received 
the present of a standard, from the ladies of Town- 
send. The company orderly book contains the following 
record : — 

"The standard was escorted to the common by nearly 
an hundred respectable ladies of this town, and presented 
by the amiable Miss Susan Pratt,* and received by Ensign 
Ebenezer Stone, after which the ladies were escorted back 
to the tavern by the company. 

John Lewis, Clerk." 

Persons who were in attendance at this celebration 
inform the writer that the ceremony was impressive, and 
the presentation speech, composed by Aaron Keyes, Esq.. 

* Daughter of Benanuel Pratt. Married. August 29, 1823, Ptolemy Edson, M. D., a 
practical plivsiciau at Chester, Vermont, for fifty-five vears. She died September 
8, 1844. He "died December 20, 18«6. 


and also the reply, were prepared with care, and well 

Captains of the Townsend Light Infantry : — 

Asa Turner, from incorporation till 1821. 
Levi Warren, thence till April 3, 1822. 
JosiAH G. Heald, thence till March 21, 1823. 
William Park, thence till August 6, 1825. 
Ebenezer Stone, thence till November 7, 1826. 
Jeptha Cummings, thence till March 13, 1828. 
Levi Stearns, thence till August 6, 1829. 
Joseph H. Hildreth, thence till August 20, 1831. 
Samuel Adams, thence till December 2. 1834. 
Horace Warner, thence till x\pril 18, 1837. 
Abram S. French, thence till November 29, 1839. 
Ai Sherw^in, thence till April 15, 1842. 
Alexander Craig, thence till April, 1844. 
Prentice Stone, no record. 
Jonathan Pierce, no record. 
Eliab Going, no record. 
William Adams, no record. 
Walton Bancroft, thence till 1852. 

The company closed its existence under Capt. Ban- 
croft, since which time the town has been without a military 

It shows a lack of good judgment for a civilized peo- 
ple or municipality to be without a suitable military force. 
At this time, the country is in as defenceless a condition 
as it was in 1861, notwithstanding the lesson then learned. 
Should the nation be embroiled in another war, and as 
long as human nature remains the same it is liable, to 
become so at most any time, a long routine of preparation 
would be required, and the delay in organization and 
discipline would give the enemy a great advantage, and 


perhaps, be at the expense of many lives. People lull 
themselves to sleep in talking about the horrors and 
wickedness of war. Clergymen and pious citizens pray 
that all wars may cease, and exhort to non-resistance ; and 
statesmen trust in diplomacy. Now moral suasion is a 
great power ; but in an exigency like a riot, sixty-four 
rifles, in the hands of disciplined men, under a clear-headed 
commander, are worth more than eloquence, argument, or 

In 1742, the town ''Voted to accept of an acre of land, 
from Mr. William Clark, for a burial place." It is prob- 
able, that this ''God's acre" was given to the town a 
considerable length of time before this vote was passed. 
There must have been some burials in Townsend during 
the first twelve or fifteen years of its settlement, and from 
its proximity to the meeting-house, this was undoubtedly 
the first place selected for the interment of the dead. The 
graves first made here are marked by rough slabs of slate, 
minus any inscriptions, and the first stones on which are 
any records, date back no further than 1745. 

In 1744, "^ Voted to choose a committee of three men 
to clear up the burying place, and dispose of the timber 
for the best advantage of the town. Chose for this com- 
mittee, Nathaniel Richardson, Joseph Baldwin, and Josiah 
Robbins." In 1747, the town evinced a deeper interest in 
this cemetery, and "Voted to fence the burying place with 
a stone wall four feet and four inches high." Mr. William 
Clark, the giver, was the owner of a large amount of land 
in this town. His name appears on the list of the seventy- 
two persons quoted in this work, who were present at 
Concord, in May, 1720. He subscribed tor a "Lott" in 
"y® North Town" but did not pay at the time. He was a 


shoemaker, owned slaves, came from Concord to this 
town, and settled on the south side of the river, at the base 
of the hill on the South Row road leading from the old 
meeting-house, on the west side of the road, w^here one 
Isaac Spaulding afterward lived. The bridge, at the west 
of the Harbor pond, has always been known as the Clark 
bridge, and was called for him. 

A slate gravestone, now in a good state of preserva- 
tion, was erected to his memory, situated near the centre 
of this burial place, from which it appears that he died in 
1756, aged seventy-seven years. 

About 1816, the people began to talk about a new 
burying place, the acre of ground given by William Clark 
being nearly full ; besides, there are no avenues in this 
acre; and "dust to dust" is so closely commingled, and 
the headstones are so numerous, that the part farthest 
from the road is not easily approached by a funeral cor- 
tege. In 181 8, the town voted to bu}' the land now used 
for a cemetery at the centre of the town, then owned b}" 
Rev. David Palmer, Deacon Daniel Adams, and Richard 
Warner, Esq., each of whom had an angle of land needed 
to make the grounds eligible, both in distance from the 
meeting-house and quadrangular in shape. In 1854, ^he 
town chose a committee, consisting of the selectmen, to 
buy land at the east of their new burial place in order to 
enlarge the same. The east line of the land, bought in 
1818, commenced near the site of the receiving tomb; 
thence southerly in a line nearly parallel with the west 
line of the cemetery. This committee bought about six 
acres of land, of Richard Warner, at the eastward of this 
line, enclosed it with a picket fence, and took up the east 
line fence of the original plot. The gentle hill in the 


land, making it an eligible location for building tombs, 
was probably considered in selecting this spot in 1818. 
The summit of this hill contains only a few graves, from 
which it may be inferred that this elevated part of the 
ground was disliked as a burial place. 

The tombs on the west side of this cemetery were 
built in 1819. The fashion, of making tombs like those, 
was quite general in this vicinity at that period. From 
the time of Cheops, the pyramid man, to the present, 
mankind in all grades of civilization and religion, have 
evinced the most absurd ideas in. regard to the burial of 
the dead, from the Indian, whose steed and war weapons 
were inhumed with his corse, to the nabob, or senator, 
reposing beneath the ponderous and elaborately hnished 
marble at Mount Auburn. The un coffined and unknelled 
remains of the soldiers at Andersonville prison, sleep as 
well "after life's fitful fever" as though placed beneath the 
gorgeous monuments erected to their memory in the prin- 
cipal cities of this great nation, the liberties of which they 
fell to perpetuate. The genius and wealth of the world 
combined cannot make death either welcome or lovely. 

In 1836, Mr. Levi Warren set apart a tract of land 
for a cemetery, on the south side of the road from West 
Townsend to Ashby, not far from the baptist meeting- 
house. Two or three bodies were buried there. For good 
reasons, Mr. Warren altered his mind about the location 
and had the bodies moved in 1838, at his own expense, to 
the cemetery now at the north of the river, and then gave 
the town a deed of the land. 

The stocks used by our ancestors tor reformatory 
purposes more than one hundred years ago, were placed 
at the west end of the meeting-house, in the open air. 


They were made with two heavy, hard wood, three inch 
plank, each about a foot in width and seven or eight feet 
long. In the edges of these planks placed edge to edge, 
four holes were cut, one-half in each plank. They were 
firmly set together in that position, with a hinge at one end 
and a padlock at the other. When a culprit was to be 
punished, he was taken to this spot, when the upper plank 
would be raised sufficiently to admit the persons ankles 
into these holes, then the plank would be shut dow n and 
locked, leaving the offender to remain, either sitting, or on 
his back, to reflect on the condition of his allegience to 
the constituted authority. No record has been found 
showing what class of crimes were punished b}' this 
instrument of torture to the flesh. It probably never was 
used many times, and then only in extreme cases of civil 

The following is a copy of the will of Lieutenant 
Amos Whitney, whose name so frequently occurs in this 
volume : — 

"In the name of God, amen, I Amos Whitney of 
Townshend in the county of Middlesex in the Province of 
Massachusetts Bay in New England Gentleman, being in 
health of body and of perfect mind and memory thanks 
be to God, calling to mind my mortality, knowing that it 
is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain 
this my last will and testament, that is to say principallv 
and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of 
God who gave it and my bod}' to be buried in a decent 
manner, at the discretion of my executor, nothing doubting 
but at the general resurrection to receive the same by the 
mighty power of God ; and touching such worldly goods 


and estate as God has blessed me with, I give and demise 
in manner and form, viz; Imprimis : I give and bequeath 
to my kinsman Levi Whitney of Townshend, his heirs 
and assigns, all the lands in Townshend which I pur- 
chased of the heirs of Major Jon'' Hubbard as bounded in 
said deed with the buildings thereon ; Also all my right or 
share in the undivided lands in the towns of Tow^nshend 
and Ashby ; also my right or privilege in the meeting- 
house in Townshend. I also give and bequeath to said 
Levi Whitney all and singular my other estate both real 
and personal not hereafter or otherwise disposed of. I 
also constitute and appoint said Levi Whitney sole execu- 
tor of this my last will and testament. 

"Item. I give and bequeath to the town of Town- 
shend all the lands I am now possessed of in Townshend, 
not particularly given to Levi Whitney, with the buildings 
and appurtenances belonging thereto ; (my right in the 
meeting house excepted) to lye as a parsonage forever, as 
long as the gospel is preached in said town, to be appro- 
priated to the use of the settled ministry for the benelit of 
the town ; also my clock I give and bequeath to the town 
as aforesaid for the use and improvement of the settled 
ministry, and it is my will that the said clock be not car- 
ried, used or improved off said farm by me bequeathed to 
the town. And it is my will that the town of Townshend 
take possession of the above bequeathed premises on the 
fifteenth day of April next after my decease. I also give 
and bequeath to said town of Townshend, one hundred 
pounds of lawful money, to be paid by my executor, lifty 
pounds in one year and the other tifty pounds to be paid 
in two years next after my decease, to be by the town put 
at interest forever, and said interest to be appropriated to 


the use and support of a reading and writing school in 
said town and to be appropriated to no other use. 

"Item. I give and bequeath to the town of Ashby 
four pounds lawful money to purchase a cushion for the 
ministerial desk, to be paid by my executor in one year 
after my decease. 

"Item. I give to the district of Shirley four pounds 
Lawful money, to purchase a cushion for the ministerial 
desk to be paid by my executor in one year after my 

"Item. I give to the town of Mason four pounds 
of lawful money to purchase a cushion for the minis- 
terial desk to be paid by my executor in one year 
after my decease. Furthermore my will is that my execu- 
tor do speedily after my decease pay all my just debts and 
funeral charges and speedily after my decease and inter- 
ment, procure and erect upon my grave a decent and large 
pair of grave stones, for which purpose and the payment 
of the several legacies before mentioned, I give and 
bequeath to him the said Levi Whitney all my notes, bonds 
and book debts : Furthermore I do by these presents 
utterly revoke and disannul and disavow all other former 
wills, testaments legacies and bequests, and do ratify this 
and this only to be my last will and testament. 

"In WITNESS WHEREOF I havc hereunto set my hand 
and seal this twenty-eighth day of August, Anno Domini, 
one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine. 

Amos Whitney, [L. S.] 

"Signed, Sealed, pronounced and declared by the said 
Amos Whitney to be his last will and testament in the 
presence of us the subscribers. 

Daniel Farv^ell 
Thomas Hubbard 
James Lock Jr."' 


This document is given entire, to show the character 
of the testator, and the strong religious feeling which 
governed everything at that time. In this place, nothing 
need be said concerning the manner in which the par- 
sonage was disposed of, sixty years after the death of Mr. 
Whitney. The "hundred pounds lawful money" disap- 
peared from the town records at about the time when the 
continental scrip became worthless. The executor carried 
out the wishes of the testator to the letter in every par- 
ticular. He erected the "decent and large pair of grave- 
stones" and put on the larger one this inscription : — 



Who departed this life October 31, 1770, 
In the sixty-sixth year of his age. 

The luiiii is gone no more to visit eartli : 
And Lo. a new scene opens at his death. 
His Public views in Lustre do appear. 
And men enjoy his bounties far and near. 
This town by gi'atitude and justice led 
Owns him a benefactor now he's dead; 
On children yet unborn his gifts descend. 
Which will remain till time shall end. 

Amos Whitney, a bachelor, was born at Watertown, 
in 1704. He held several town offices, and was a repre- 
sentative for Townsend in a convention held at Faneuil 
Hall, in 1768. He was one of the pillars of the church, 
an estimable townsman, sqviare and upright in all his 


His epitaph reads: "The man is gone, no more to 
visit earth." This is fortunate, for if he should ever come 
this way again, and learn anything about his hundred 
pounds, and the fate of his parsonage, he might get a little 
excited at the careless and stupid manner in which his 
money and land were expended and lost. 

The principal stable, or barn, on the premises that 
once was the parsonage, is all that remains of the build- 
ings which has any resemblance to their appearance when 
they were put in possession of the town, by the executor 
of the will of Lieut. Whitney. 

In 1875, the house, which was a convenient cottage, 
one and one-half stories in height, was remodelled, 
enlarged, and converted into a two-story dwelling, by the 
proprietor, Mr. Henry Williams. The location, about 
midway between the central village and the Harbor, is 
just elevated enough to be pleasant. 

At a convenient shade distance, just eastward of this 
spot, stands one of the largest old elms in Townsend, 
under the spreading branches of which, the children of 
Dix and Palmer whiled away many cheerful hours. 

It is a temple not made with hands ; a shrine rendered 
almost sacred by the pious acts of Whitney, who, with 
prophetic wisdom, planted and trained it to "live through 
the centuries." The memory of the good and true is 
around it and with it ; and, although storms and winters 
have mutilated its massive members, still they droop grace- 
fully athwart the lawn and beckon the heated and thirsty 
toiler in summer, to the well-curb beneath its refreshing 
shadow. This also will crumble to dust like the busy 
actors, who from time immemorial have played around it. 


Concerning the clock given by the foregoing will, 
tradition saith not ; but it undoubtedly marked the hours 
for rest, pleasure, refreshment, for school, and particularly 
the time for a faithful pastor to go forth to his consecrated 

The cushions for the several desks given b}' these 
legacies have all faded, and with them the manly forms 
which bent reverently over their glossy damask. 

But notwithstanding all these changes, the benevolent 
disposition of Lieutenant Amos Whitney will remain fresh 
in the memory of the good people of Townsend, as long 
as it retains a written historv. 



Excitement Previous to the War — A Pamplilet Received from the 
Selectmen of Boston— Committee of Correspondence and Safety 
— Action of the Town in 1773— Action of the Town in 1774 — 
Delegates to the Provincial Congress — Assistance Rendered by 
Townsend to the Citizens of Boston During its Seige— Efforts 
to Obtain Salt— The Alarm on the 19th of April. 1775— Roll of 
Capt. James Hosley's Company of Minute-Men that Marched to 
Defend the Colony — Roll of Capt. Samuel Douglass* Company — 
Roll of Capt. Henr}' Farwell's Compan}^— Capt. Thomas Warren's 
Company— Attempt to Regulate the Prices of Goods and Labor — 
The Tories of Townsend — Letter from Boston Concerning the 
Return of the Absentees— Privations and Struggles for Indepen- 
dence—Story of Eunice Locke— Some Account of Her and Her 
Brother — Roll of Capt. James Hosley's Companj' of Volunteers 
from Townsend, Pepperell. and Ashby, which Went to the Assis- 
tance of Gen. Gates in 1777 — Adoption of the State Constitution, 
1778 — Depreciation of the Continental Monej' — Names of the 
Townsend Soldiers in 1780 — List of Prices — Retrospective. 

In September, 1768, the selectmen of Townsend 
received a letter from the selectmen of Boston, requesting 
them to call a town meeting, and then to take into con- 
sideration the critical condition of government affairs, and 
to choose an agent to come to Boston, to express there, the 
views, wishes, and determination of the people of Town- 
send on this important subject. A town meeting was 


accordingly called expressly for this purpose, when, "Put 
to vote to see if the town would comply with the town of 
Boston in sending a man to join with them in the conven- 
tion, proposed to be held at Faneuil Hall, and it was 
unanimously complied with. Unanimously voted and 
chose Lieut. Amos Whitney, as a committee man to join 
with the convention as aforesaid." 

It will be recollected that the five years, which pre- 
ceded the time of this action of the town of Boston, were 
exciting times for the colonies. Commerce had come to a 
stand-still by the operation of the "Stamp Act" and the 
"Sugar Act." The operation of both these obnoxious acts 
were defeated by non-importation and smuggling. In 
1766, the Stamp Act was repealed, to the great joy of the 
colonists, and importation of goods was greater than ever 
before. Everything w^as prosperous for a short time, but 
in 1768, the obnoxious "Revenue Act" was passed, which 
threw a cloud over the enterprise and chilled the prosperity 
of the entire people. It was at this juncture that the town 
of Boston consulted the other towns in this province, in 
regard to asserting their rights and maintaining their 

The firm resistance with which the projects of the 
British government were received, served to strengthen 
the Ministry to carry their points at all hazards. Troops 
were stationed in Boston to intimidate and overawe the 
inhabitants, and acts more severe were passed by Parlia- 
ment. The colonists saw that they must either 3'ield with 
abject submission, or gain their rights by a resort to arms, 
and they did not hesitate between the alternatives. Thus 
their decision was arrived at with the greatest deliberation 
and a count of the cost. The people of Boston were fore- 
most in resisting the unjust measures of the mother country, 


and they were nobly seconded by the inhabitants of other 
towns. Every town in the province was consuUed upon 
this all absorbing subject, that they might know what they 
could rely upon in case of open rebellion against the 
government of Great Britain. 

In January, 1773, another letter and a printed pamphlet 
were received from the town of Boston, requesting the in- 
habitants of the town of Townsend to pass such resolves, 
concerning their rights and privileges as free members of 
society, as they were willing to die in maintaining. These 
resolves the Bostonians requested might be sent in the form 
of a report, to their committee of correspondence. The 
town responded to this suggestion in an appropriate 
manner, as will be seen from the following extract from 
the record : — 

"At a town meeting of the inhabitants of Townshend 
legally assembled at the Public Meeting-house in said 
town on Tuesday January 5, 1773 at Eleven Oclock in 
foi-e noon. James Hosle}- was chosen Moderator. 

"Voted to choose a committee of five men to consider 
the Letter of Correspondence from the town of Boston, 
concerning the rights and privileges of this Province and 
report such Resolves and measures as may be proper for 
the town to come into, respecting the same. Chosen for 
said committee Capt. Daniel Adams, Deacon Jonathan 
Stow, Capt. Daniel Taylor, James Hosley and Jonathan 

"Voted to adjourn this meeting till to-morrow at twelve 
of the clock to this place. 

"Met at the adjournment on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 1773. 
The committee chosen by the town at a meeting on the 5th 


of said month, to consider the present state of our pubhc 
affairs, particularly as pointed out to us by the metropolis 
of this Province reported as follows : 

"Inasmuch as the situation of our Public Affairs in this 
and the other colonies, in respect to the enjoyment of our 
Rights and Privileges is truly alarming, we consider it a 
Duty which this town owes to their Maker, to themselves 
and their posterity to manifest in a public, solemn manner 
their sentiments on this occasion, in order to which they 
form the following Resolves (viz) 

"i. That it is the opinion of this town that the Rights 
of the colonists of this Province in particular, as men as 
christians and as subjects, are justly stated in the pamphlet 
sent us from the town of Boston. 

"2. It is our opinion that our rights and liberties do 
labor under divers infringements, particularly in respect to 
the way in which our money is taken from us, by which 
our governor is supported, and in respect to the extensive 
power vested in the commissioners of the customs, and by 
a military force being employed to keep us in awe and so 

"3. Resolved that if the prevailing report concerning 
the Judges of our Superior Court being supported any 
other way than by the free grants of the people be true, it 
is a very threatening and dangerous innovation, directly 
tending to corrupt the Streams of Justice. 

"4. Resolved that our natural and constitutional 
Rights, our civil and Religious liberties were confirmed to 
us by our charter, purchased by our ancestors at the 
expense of much fatigue and blood, which renders the 
possession of them more dear to us, and the parting with 
them more grevious, and lays us under stronger obligations 
to defend them in all constitutional and scriptural wavs. 

"5. Resolved that the following instructions be and 
are hereb}' given to our Representative ; (viz) that he use 


his utmost influence to obtain a removal of our present 
burdens and to defend our liberties from all further en- 
croachments, and to enquire into the report concerning our 
Superior Judges being independent of the people ; to have 
our unhappy circumstances represented in a true Light to 
our Rightful Sovreign and that the General Assembly 
recommend to the people of this Province to set apart a 
day, they the assembly shall think fit to name, for Humil- 
iation and Prayer : that we may in a united Public manner 
spread our grievances before the King of Kings. 

"6. Resolved that the town of Boston have shown a 
true spirit of patriotism and a tender concern for the wel- 
fare of the Province, and that our sincere thanks are due 
to them for their spirited endeavors to discover the danger 
of our situation, and to lead us in the way of seeking 

"7. Resolved that a committee of five suitable men be 
chosen to correspond from time to time as occasion may 
require with the town of Boston and any other towns that 
have or shall, from a sense of our difficulties, come into 
such a method of correspondence and communication. 

"The above Report being several times read, and 
debated upon, and put to vote to see if the town would 
accept of the same, passed in the affirmative. 

"The committee chosen to correspond from time to time 
with the town of Boston and other towns is as follows 
(viz) Daniel Adams, Deacon Jonathan Stow, Capt. Daniel 
Taylor; James Hosley and Samuel Manning. 

"Voted that the town clerk transmit an authentic cop}' 
of the foregoing proceedings of this town meeting to the 
committee of correspondence of the town of Boston. 

Daniel Adams Town Clerk.'' 

From the above extract may be learned what the 

sentiments of the people of this town were, in regard to 


the attitude of Great Britain towards her colonies. They 
considered that the course of the mother country was 
oppressive, and unjust, and their rights had been violated. 
In 1774, '^fter having received another letter from 
Boston, and having also heard from other towns, by letters, 
concerning the tax on tea, a town meeting was called 
Januar}' 11, when the following was recorded : — 

"The town taking into consideration certain intelligence 
received from the committee of correspondence in Boston, 
together with their request for intelligence and advice from 
the several towns in this Province, passed the tbllowing 
resolves (viz). 

"Being informed of the late proceedings of our fellow 
countrymen in Philadelphia, relative to the East India 
Company being allowed to send large quantities of tea into 
these colonies, subject to the payment of a duty upon its 
being landed ; we do agree with them and readily adopt 
their sentiments upon this affair. 

"Resolved that we have ever been uneasy with the 
plan laid down by the British Ministry for raising revenue 
in America, and that the present situation of our public 
affairs, particularly in respect to a late act of Parliament 
in favor of the East India Company requires our attention 
and therefore further 

"Resolved that we stand forth in the cause of liberty, 
in union with other towns, and in gratitude to the spirited, 
patriotic town of Boston in particular. 

"Resolved that we earnestly advise that no tea be im- 
ported into this, or any other American Colon}-, so long as 
it is subject to a duty, payable upon its being landed here. 

"Resolved that we are sorry t'or the uniiappy disagree- 
ment between tiiis and the mother country, and we 
earnestly wish to see harmony restored. 


"Voted that the preeceeding resolves be recorded and a 
copy of the same attested b}' the town clerk be transmitted 
to the committee of correspondence of the town of Boston. 

Daniel Adams Town Clerk."" 

It thus appears that His Majesty's subjects in the 
Province of Massachusetts, while deliberating on the 
injustice and wrongs which had been inflicted on them, 
were not entirely without hope that their rights might be 
respected and '^harmony restored."' An armed resistance 
as yet had not been agreed upon by the colonists. 

The first public meeting of the people, in Massachu- 
setts, outside of Faneuil Hall, was a Provincial Congress, 
holden at Concord, October ii, 1774, which adjourned to 
Cambridge, and of which John Hancock was President. 

At a town meeting "Oct. 3, 1774, Jonathan Stow was 
chosen to appear in behalf of the town of Townshend to 
join the provincial congress to be holden, at Concord on 
the nth of Oct. Inst." 

At a town meeting "Nov. 21, 1774, Capt. Daniel 
Taylor was chosen to appear in behalf of the town of 
Townshend to join the provincial congress to be holden at 
Cambridge Nov. 22 -^ Inst.," and January 2, 1775, Israel 
Hobart was chosen to attend the same Congress, at Cam- 
bridge, on the first day of February, 1775. This Congress 
enacted that at least one-fourth of all the militia should be 
enrolled as minute-men, or men who should be prepared 
to march at a minute's warning, on any emergency. This 
was a decisive step, which shows the grit of the revolu- 
tionar}' fathers. Some of the members of this Congress 
from different towns, gave their time and expenses, others 
were paid wholly or in part by subscription. 


The town voted to indemnify the constables for 
refusing to pay over the money, which had been assessed 
by the Province, into the hands of Harrison Gray ; also 
voted to indemnify the assessors for refusing to return the 
names of such constables, although requested to do so. 

The people were exceedingly aroused at this time. 
These were the defiant measures which brought on the 
war, and started the King's troops en route for Concord, 
on the memorable 19th day of April, 1775. 

Boston at this time was suffering under the vengeance 
of Parliament, for throwing over the tea, and being the 
head and front of disloyalty. There were many poor 
people in that town, out of employment, and having a 
scanty allowance of provisions. To them the inland towns 
extended the hand of charity and relief. 

At a town meeting, January 2, 1775, "Voted and chose 
a committee of tive men to forward the donations for Bos- 
ton and Charlestown. Chose lor said committee Mr. Israel 
Hobart, Capt. Benjamin Brooks, Lieut. Zachariah Emery, 
and Mr. John Conant." Probably each man of this com- 
mittee took a well packed sled-load of provisions to their 
suff'ering friends at the tide-water. There is no other 
record concerning that transaction. The warrants for 
calling town meetings were not often recorded at that time. 
At a town meeting, June 19, 1775, "V^oted to purchase 50 
Hogsheads of salt for a Town Stock. Deacon Richard 
Wyer chosen to go to Salem to purchase said salt, and 
ordered him to take his directions from the Select Men, 
who are to give security in the name of the town for the 

It will thus be seen that the town was preparing for 
the tug of war, which was about to commence — the open- 
ing scene of the revolution. 


So far as the actual means of gaining a living were 
concerned, the people at that time, were comparatively in- 
dependent. They took the wool from the sheep, cleansed, 
spun and wove it, ready to be made into their clothing. 
Lighter fabrics were made from their flax, spun by a foot- 
wheel, the thread being graded by running through be- 
tween the thumb and fore-flnger of the operative. They 
ground their grain into flour for their bread, produced 
vegetables and meat plendfully for their tables, and laid 
the rock maple under contribution for their sugar. Luxury 
was a word not to be found in their vocabulary ;■ and tea 
they would not use after it was subject to the duty. Salt 
they could not produce, but they exercised great prudence 
in sending to the coast in season for an abundant supply. 
For the expense of getting it, a separate tax was assessed 
on all the polls and estates in town. 

The alarm to the minute-men was given on the 19th 
of April, 1775, by the firing of a cannon on the com- 
mon about three o'clock in the afternoon. Without doubt, 
quite a number of Paul Reveres tested their horsemanship 
in warning the patriots of the approach of the "ministerial 
troops." Ephraim Warren was plowing on the farm now 
owned by Samuel F. Warren, where he then lived, when 
the alarm was given. He immediately detached his team 
from the plow, rode one of his horses to his house, and 
called, "Molly" (he married Mary Parker of Chelmsford), 
"the regulars are coming and I am going, give me mv 
gun," and he quickly reined his horse toward the coast 
and started. He arrived at Concord early in the evening, 
only in season to see a few dead bodies and some wounded 
British soldiers, who had been left by their comrades in 
their hasty flight. 



"Muster Roll* of Capt. James Hosley's company of 
minute-men belonging to Col. William Prescott's regiment, 
who marched from Townshend, April last, to Cambridge, 
in defence of the colony against the ministerial troops : — 

James Hosley, Capt. 
Richard Wyer, ist Lieut. 
James Locke, 2d Lieut. 
Peter Butterfield, Sergt 
Benjamin Ball, Sergt. 
Lemuel Maynard, Corpl. 
Ephraim Brown, Corpl. 
Nath'l Bagley, Drummer. 
Ebenezer Ball. 
Daniel Holt. 
James Sloan. 
William Kendall. 
Daniel Conant. 
x\sA Heald, 
Joseph Rumrill. 
Oliver Proctor. 
Daniel Clark. 
Richard Warren. 
Israel Richardson. 
Robert Waugh. 
Elijah Wyman. 
Eleazer Butterfield. 
Benjamin Hob art. 
John Brown. 
Daniel Emery. 
Ephraim Shedd. 
Zacheriah Emery. 

Joseph Baldwin. 
William Clark. 
David Graham. 
Thomas Eaton. 
Ebenezer Ball, Jr. 
Joseph Shattuck. 
Thomas Webster, Jr. 
Levi Whitney. 
Noah Farrar. 
JosiAH Richardson. 
Jonathan Patt. 
Isaac Kidder. 
Joseph Rumrill. Jr. 
Jonas Farmer. 
Daniel Sherwin. 
Eleazer Butterfield, Jr. 
Isaac Boynton. 
Ephraim Brown. 
John Clark. 
Jedediah Jewett. 
Dudley Kemp. 
Abel Richardson. 
John Manning. 
John Emery. 
Thomas Wyman. 
Henry Dunster." 

These men were paid for their services, by order ol 
the General Court, in December, 1775. They marched on 

^Froni the Mass;i<-husettr^ Revohitionary Rollf;, vol. \i. page U.). 


the 19th of April, late in the afternoon, and were in the 
field, most of them twenty-one days. 

It appears that there were two companies of minute- 
men in Townsend at that time. 

Massachusetts revolutionary rolls, volume 12, page 
42 : "A Roll of the travel and service of Capt. Samuel 
Douglas of Townshend in the county of Middlesex and 
belonging to Col^. James Prescotts Regiment, and also of 
the men under his command, who in consequence of the 
alarm made on the 19th of April 1775, marched from 
home for y*' defence of this colony against the ministerial 
Troops, and continued in the service till called back to 
take care of the Tories in s'^ Townsend. 

"Samuel Douglas, Captain. 
James Hildreth, Drummer. 

privates : 

Oliver Hildreth. Benjamin Brooks. 

JoNA. Hildreth. Abel Foster. 

Abijah Hildreth. Daniel Campbell. 

Ephm. Adams. Samuel Scripture. 

Joel Davis. Robert Campbell. 

Isaac Holden. Benjamin Adams. 

Abner Adams. Joseph Giles. 

Abner Brooks. Andrew Searls. 

Benjamin Wilson. Jonathan Goss." 

These men were in the service five days, and on the 
twenty-second of March, 1776, the General Court ordered 
them to be paid. Capt. Douglas received £1 7s. id., and 
the men 12s. 9d. 2qr., each. 

It is not known beyond a doubt, why the companv 
under command of Capt. Douglas should be so much 


smaller than the other company. The men who went 
with Capt. Douglas all lived on Nissequassick hill, within 
a radius of less than a mile. There is reason for the belief, 
that Douglas, and his neighbors, were so anxious to leave 
for the fray, that they marched earlier in the day, with less 
preparation, and with only a part of the company, and 
that the remainder of their companions were willing to fall 
in under Capt. Hosley. 

These rolls, in the archives, are copies of the rolls of 
these two companies, taken just before they were paid. 
The Captains made oath before Israel Hobart, Esq., that 
they were correct in regard to travel, term of service, and 
the days of the month on which the service was rendered, 
from which it appears that Townsend had seventy-three 
men who started at a moment's warning, on that memo- 
rable 19th of April, ''to defend the colony against the min- 
isterial troops." 

The title of the roll of Capt. Douglas' compan}^ is 
instructive in regard to the feeling here among the people, 
at the commencement of the revolution ; for it appears that 
this company "was called back to take care of the Tories 
of s'^ Townshend." Most of the Townsend men who did 
not favor the cause of American Independence, were 
neighbors of Douglas and his men. Further on in this 
work, the names of the most prominent of the tories will 
appear. Both of these rolls designate the British soldiers 
as "ministerial troops" instead of the King's troops, which 
rather indicates that the colonists considered that the King 
had bad advisers, and that the British ministry might, per- 
haps, be induced, in using deliberation and reason, and 
guided by wisdom, to reconsider some of the acts that bore 
so heavily upon them. 


In the margin, opposite the record of a town meeting on 
June 19, 1775. (page 157 T. R.) the following is written: 
'' Mr. Lock protested against the warrant coming out in 
the King's name." The assembling of these minute-men 
around Boston, in 1775, was a great advantage to the 
colonists, as it showed them the great need of arms, 
blankets, and munitions of war. The acquaintances there 
formed, the discussions of future operations against their 
enemies, and the necessity of well-concerted action, all 
tended to strengthen their determination to be free. A 
large portion of these seventy-three minute-men re-enlisted 
in other companies, and served more or less during the 
war, with different captains and in companies from dif- 
ferent towns. The summer of 1775 was extremely dry 
and hot, much more so than any since the settlement of 
the town ; there were small crops of corn and potatoes, 
and on dry land failed entirely ; of hay not over half a 
crop was raised. There was also much sickness in town. 
Many families suffered by the diseases of dysentery and 
fevers, which in many cases were long and severe. The 
number of deaths in town was unusually large. Add 
to all this, the absence of so many heads of families 
in the army, and the keen anxiety concerning the affairs 
of the province, and we can have some idea of the de- 
pressed condition, the trials and struggles of this first year 
of the war. 

The following roll contains the names of the Townsend 
men, who were in the battle of Bunker Hill, in Capt. 
Henry Farwell's company. The reader will observe that 
most of these soldiers marched under Capt. Hoslev, as 
minute-men, on the 19th of April previous. This roll 
in the archives is some mutilated, so that two Christian 



names cannot be made out. The exact chirography of 
this document has been preserved. The town Limbrick 
should have been Limerick, which was the original name 
of Stoddard, New Hampshire, named in honor of Col. 
Sampson Stoddard, one of the original grantees. The 
Sergeant Sartwell, of this company, and the private from 
Rindge, were both of the same name, and distant relatives, 
although their names are quite differently spelled. 

About one-half of these thirty-five men from Town- 
send whose names appear on this roll, have descendants 
in this town at the present time. 

A muster roll* of the company under command of 
Capt. Henry Farwell 
to the first of August 

in Col. William Prescott's regiment, 

Henry Farwell, 
Lewis Whitney, 
Benjamin Ball, 
JosiAH Stevens, 
Nathaniel Sartw^ell, 
Phineas Hubbard, 
Ephraim Brown, 
Samuel Lawrence, 
Amos Farnsw^orth, 
Ephraim Warren, 
Joseph Page, 
Timothy Stone, 
Joel Jenkins, 
Ephraim Adams, 
Benjamin Brooks, 
Isaac Boynton, 
Eleazer Butterfield, 
Jonas Brooks, 
John Clark, 




















I St Lieut. 
2d Lieut. 
^ Corporal. 
• Private. 

;volutioiiary Roll.-i 



Moses Chase, 



William Dirunephel, 



James Davise, 



Jonah Davise, 



Henry Dunster, 



Joel Davise, 



John Emery, 



Jonas Farmer, 



Joseph Frost, 



Noah Farwell, 



Abel Foster, 



Daniel Foster, 



MoRiAH Gould, 



Oliver Hildrick, 



Abijah Hildrick, 



Obadiah Jinkins, 



David Jinkins, 



Zakeous Farwell, 



Ebenezer Kemp, 



Isaac Kidder, 



John Manning, 



Henry McNeil, 



Timothy Moores, 






Peltiah Russell, 



Nathan Patt, 



Joseph Rumrill, 



Ephraim Russell, 



Ephraim Robbins, 



Abel Richardson, 



Andrew Richardson, 



Israel Richardson, 



Jonathan Seartle, 



Daniel Spaulding, 



Daniel Sherwin, 



Joseph Willson, 



Francis White, 








Israel Whitney, 



JosiAH Warren, 



Thomas Wyman, 



Oliver Warrin, 



WiLL^'. Smith, 



John Burge, 



Samuel Weston, 



Jonathan Jinkins, 



Asa White, 



As near as it can be ascertained, there were between 
thirty and thirty-five men constantly in the army from 
this town, until the British evacuated Boston, in March, 
1776. One great mistake in the war of the revolution, as 
well as in our late rebellion, was the short term of enlist- 
ments. About as soon as some of the recruits began to 
be worth anything to the government they were mustered 
out of service. 

"At a legal town meeting of the inhabitants of Town- 
shend upon June 20th, 1776, at the Public meeting-house 
in said Town at two o'clock in the afternoon : 

"Deacon Richard Wyer chosen moderator for said 
meeting ; voted unanimously that the following instructions 
be given to Israel Hobart Esq. Representative lor said 
Town (vizj. 

"The resolve of the late assembly of this Colony recom- 
mending to the several Towns to express their minds with 
respect to the important and Interesting Question of 
American Independence, is the occasion of our giving you 
the following Instructions. It is with regret and anxiety 
of mind that we find ourselves driven to the sad alternative 
either to submit to Lawless Tyrany and Domination or 
declare Independence from that State from whome we 
originated and with whome we have been connected ever 
since we were a people, not only in Trade and Commerce 
but in the Strictest bonds of esteem and efiection ; in this 
Scituation wc thot ourselves happy nor did we wish the 


connection dissolved untill the repeated injuries of Great 
Britain became Intolerable and an accommodation we 
conceived Impracticable. The unjust and unconstitutional 
Claims of Great Britain to the Colonies without their con- 
sent, and to make laws in all Cases binding upon the 
Colonies &c. and the most dutifull and humble petitions of 
the Colonies rejected with scorn and Contempt, the cruel 
and unjust measures pursued by the King of Great Britain 
and a vindictive administration in sending fleets and armies 
to enforce those Unjust acts and measures by fire and 
sword in a manner unprecidential, the tragical nineteenth 
of April 1775, the innocent blood since shed, the acts of 
Parliament declaring the colonies in a state of rebellion 
and the unjust and piratical Laws consequent thereon we 
conceive have destroyed all hopes of an accommodation 
with Great Britain and must we think Justify these Colo- 
nies in renouncing all connection with and dependance 
upon Great Britain. We therefore declare it as our clear 
opinion that an American Republic be formed, provided 
the internal government be left to the colony, and we your 
constituents declare ourselves ready at all times, if the 
Honr. Continental Congress in whose wisdom and fidelitv 
we confide shall declare such a form of Government, 
to support the same at the expense of our lives and 

''Voted to raise fifteen pound to buy powder and lead. 

James Hosley, Town Clerk." 

This is an exact copy of the record in every particular, 
so far as orthography, use of capital letters and punctua- 
tion are concerned. The "clear opinion" of the inhabi- 
tants of this town, uttered just two weeks before Jeflerson's 
incomparable Declaration of Independence was adopted, 
were in accord with that instrument. 

After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, 
a copy of the same, printed at Salem, was by order of 
the council sent to every town in the state, where they w^ere 


read from the pulpit, and then copied into the town book 
of records — there to remain as a perpetual memorial. 
This document is very neatly copied into the Townsend 
records, done by James Hosley, who was town clerk many 

In October, 1776, the question was submitted to all 
the towns in this state, whether they were willing that the 
House of Representatives and Council, then existing, should 
frame a form of government for Massachusetts Bay. 
Townsend expressed an unwillingness to that measure. 

At a town meeting, October 15, 1776, upon this 
subject, chose a committee of three men, consisting of 
Lieut. James Lock, Samuel Manning, and Major Henry 
Price, who submitted the following, which was adopted as 
the opinion of tlie town :^ 

"Voted that it is the opinion of this town, that although 
government is essential to the happiness and well-being of 
a people, and the powers of forming states and setting up 
governments is essential in the people, and that a govern- 
ment ought to be set up in this state as soon as possible 
with safety and propriety, yet, we cannot at present give 
our consent that the present house form a constitution or 
form of government for the reasons tbllowing (viz). 

"That the act made by the late house respecting rep- 
resentation, by which the privilege of many towns is much 
enlarged, which we think gives the maritime towns a 
material advantage over the country towns, as the court is 
held at that side of the state, b}' which we think the mer- 
cantile part of the state has a dangerous advantage over 
the landed part; we therefore judge it of consequence that 
representation be reduced nearly to the former mode before 
government is set up." 


In 1776, Oliver Prescott, of Groton, was appointed a 
brigadier-general, and in that capacity he organized the 
militia of Middlesex county into eight companies, consti- 
tuting a regiment of drafted soldiers under fifty years of 
age, and appointed its officers. Eleazer Brooks was 
colonel, and Micah Stone, of Framingham, lieutenant- 
colonel. Co. No. 8 : Thomas Warren, of Townsend, 
captain; James Lawrence, of Pepperell, ist lieutenant : 
Joseph Rockwood, of Groton, 2d lieutenant. 

There were sixty men in this company, from different 
towns. The names of the thirteen men* from Townsend, 
in this compan^s were : — 

Thomas Warren, Capt. Daniel Holt. 

Samuel Maynard, Corpl. William Clark. 

Robert Waugh, Corpl. Asa Merril. 

William Manning. Hinchman Warren. 

Joel Davis. Ephraim Warren. 

Samuel Wyman. Timothy Warren. 
Jonathan Bowers. 

It will be easily comprehended that, under the severe 
pressure of a harassing war, when all resources were 
heavily drawn upon to furnish arms, ammunition, clothes 
and provisions for the army, to supply funds for the payment 
of the soldiers, and to meet other expenses incident to the 
state of public affairs, money, among the inhabitants, was 
not only exceedingly scarce, but that, in consequence of 
the successive drafts for soldiers, laborers were in great 
demand, and their services commanded exorbitant prices. 
The result of this was that prices of all commodities, and 
articles of consumption, rose in proportion. There was a 

'^Massachusetts Revolutionary Rolls, vol. 24, page 55. 


peculiar state of ail^airs. Every kind of goods was held at 
a high price, although no one had money to buy with. 
The General Court felt the pressure, and attempted to 
effectually apply a remedy. This body passed an act 
dividing the state into districts, and ordering that a com- 
mittee should be chosen in each district, to fix upon the 
prices of labor and provisions. The prices when thus 
established, it should be unlawful for any one to exceed. 
This law operated for only a short time, and was given up 
by common consent. It operated unequally, and the peo- 
ple would not submit to it. 

The towns of Groton, Shirley, Townsend, Lunen- 
burg, and Fitchburg, composed one district, and the 
following are some of the prices which were affixed to 
some of the most important articles, by a committee of 
these towns : — 

Labor of men in summer, per day, $ .50 

Labor of men in winter, per day, .25 

Labor of a carpenter, per day, .50 

Wheat, per bushel, i.ii 

Rye, per bushel, .73 

Corn, per bushel, .56 

Oats, per bushel, .33 

Pork, per pound, .06 

Butter, per pound, -121^ 

Beef, per pound, .06 

Potatoes, per bushel, .17 

Good sheep's wool, per pound, . .33 

Men's stockings, first quality, i.oo 

Men's shoes, per pair, 1.33 

Lamb, Mutton and Veal, per pound, -04 >2 

Hay, per ton, 10.00 

Pine boards, per thousand feet, 3.65 

Clapboards, 10.67 


Wheat flour, per lOO lbs., $3-67 

For a dinner, boiled and roasted, .17 

For a dinner, only one of these, .14 

For mug of West India flip, •'^SH 

For mug of New England flip, -12^ 

Good cider, per barrel, 1.83 

Men tailors, per day, • .42 

Women tailors, per day, -15^ 

Yard wide cotton cloth, .58 

House maids, per week, .42 

Horse for one person to ride a mile, -03/^ 

At this time the people began to feel the heavily 
pressing burdens of the war, and to devise means to 
equahze the same among themselves. At the March 
meeting, 1777, the town "Voted to choose a committee of 
five men to estimate all the past services done in the war 
by the men of this town ; Thomas Warren, James Hosley, 
Daniel Adams, Richard Wyer, and Levi Whitney were 
chosen for said committee." 

These five men had all been in the service, and were 
as well qualified to discharge this duty as any persons in 
tow^n. The report of this committee w^as adopted the next 
month. Some idea of the magnitude of the enterprise in 
which they were engaged, in daring to assert their rights, 
as well as the pay which the continental troops received, 
may be obtained from the report of this committee. It 
must be borne in mind, that these several sums, here ex- 
pressed in English money, had more intrinsic value than 
the same figures would express three or four years after- 
ward : — 

Voted £6 to the eight months men at Cambridge. 

Voted 12 shillings to each of the six weeks men ditto. 

Voted 16 shillings to each of the two months men. 


Voted £13 6s. 8d. to each of the three years continental 

Voted £10 to each of the five months men in the western 

Voted £2 i6s. to each of the four mouths men for Boston 

Voted £6 to each of the two months men for York ser- 

Voted £6 to each of the three months men for York 

Voted £23 to each of the men that shall enlist into the 
* continental service for three years or during the 
war, or to such as shall procure a man, or men 
for said service. 

Voted that all the above estimates be made into a rait 
on the several inhabitants of this town, and that the polls 
pay one-half of said rait. 

Voted that all such as have done more in the war 
service than their proportion of said rait shall have credit 
for what they have done, but shall have no right to call 
for any money out of the treasury till the further order of 
the town. 

James Lock Moderator. 
James Hosley Town Clerk. 

In addition to all other embarrassments under which 
the patriotic citizens were laboring, was the discouraging 
influence of about a dozen men in this town, who were 
known as tories. These men for more than two years, 
had clandestinely opposed all measures wliich tended to 


resist the authorit}' of Great Britain. They were intelli- 
gent men, most of them, and they lived on what is known 
as Wallace hill, also called by an Indian name in this 
work. During the time the minute-men were absent, after 
the alarm was made on the 19th of April, 1775, they were 
offensively outspoken and disagreeable. It was during 
this year that it was necessary for every man to "screw his 
courage up to the sticking point." Public opinion de- 
manded that every able-bodied citizen should give an 
undivided support to the American cause, or be exposed to 
popular indignation, to prosecutions before a special Court 
of the Sessions of Peace, to imprisonment, or to a coat of 
tar and feathers. From that time such persons were 
watched. Occasionally they were obliged to uncover their 
heads, and, in presence of the assembled majesty of the 
town, to promise greater love for the American cause, 
and a strict conformity to the popular will. 

The patriots were determined to remove every obstacle 
in the way of success and to ferret out every loyalist, who 
might utter a word against their" cause. Accordingly a 
committee was chosen "to collect evidence of inimical 
and unfriendly persons agreeable to an act of the Great 
and General Court," which attended to that duty. 

On the eighth of Jul}', 1776, "Voted that the select- 
men lay before the town a list of such persons as they 
think dangerous or unfriendly to this or the United States, 
or have been so since the 19th of April, 1775 '' ^^^^ it was 

"A List of the persons names taken by us the Sub- 
scribers and presented to the town of Townshend at a legal 
tow^n meeting, agreeable to an act of the General Court, 
entitled an act for securing internal enemies as persons 



whom we consider dangerous and unfriendly to this and 
the United States of America, is as follows, viz. 

Joshua Smith. 
Reuben Tucker. 
Seth Johnson. 


Isaac Wallis. 
William Wallis. 
David Holden. 
Jonathan Wallio . 
Euenezer Giles. 

Townshend July 8 1777 
Again August 11 1777. 

James Hosley \ Select- 

Richard Wyer / men 
Zacheriah Emery) of 
Levi Whitney \ Town- 
Thos. Warren / shend. 

James Hosley, Town Clerk." 

In this record a pen was drawn across the names of 
Jonathan Wallace and Ebenezer Giles, and in the margin 
opposite their names are these words: "erased by the 

As a matter of policy, rather than principle, these 
two men, whose names are erased, "came to time" and in 
every particular contributed their share of wealth to assist 
in the American cause, rather than lose their property by 
confiscation. They were governed by the same advice 
which Polonius gave his son, 

"Give thy thono^hts no tonifiu'. 
Nor any nnpioportioned thonu^ht his act." 

Some of these tories were arrested, taken to Townsend 
Harbor, and confined in a cooper-shop, which stood nearly 
opposite the leather-board mill at that place, where they 


were guarded by a detachment of soldiers from Capt. 
Douglas' company. They were fed by their friends and 
families, during their imprisonment, which continued more 
than a month. It is said that as some troops from New 
Hampshire were passing through town, while viewing the 
situation of these prisoners, overheard one of them calling 
them rebels, which so excited these patriots, that it was 
with much difficulty that the guard restrained them from 
firing on the inmates of the shop. 

Seth Johnson, whose name appears in this list, was a 
blacksmith, and had a shop on or near the southeast 
corner of Hathorn's farm. He also came over to the 
patriots and worked with them. Jonathan Wallis was a 
man of strong intellectual powers, a good judge of human 
nature, and he filled many important offices before and 
after the revolution. He outlived his unpopularity and 
came down into the present century, in his old age much 
respected. Ebenezer Giles was a large land holder, and 
a man of intelligence and influence. He resided on the 
farm now owned by Mr. Hamor Lewis. A part of the 
Townsend tories, when the excitement was at its height, 
who were not land owners, precipitantly left the town. 
The patriots were after them on all sides. 

It is in tradition, that one night, while they were sur- 
rounding a house, after a man by the name of Searles, 
who lived on the northerly side of the hill, near the old 
burying ground, a younger brother to the man whom thev 
were after, knocked a board oft' the back side of the 
house, jumped out, and ran in a westerly direction. The 
patriots immediately gave chase and came up with him 
near the Goss bridge, when they discovered the ruse. 
During the chase, the person sought for made good his 


escape, and was followed in a few days b}^ his wife. At 
the close of the war, a correspondence disclosed the fact, 
that several persons of the tory stripe, among whom were 
two men and their wives, belonging to Townsend, took 
refuge in the forests, near the Saco river, where they 
suffered extremel}' both for food and clothing, in this their 
self-constituted exile. 

Joshua Smith was a trader, the first one in town of 
which there is any account. He lived at the Harbor, and 
occupied for a store the old house painted red, now stand- 
ing on the north side of the road, nearly opposite the mill- 
yard. He was ver}^ obnoxious to the patriots, so much so 
that he was about the first man "to leave his country for 
his country's good" for fear of being handed over to the 
board of war. He had no real estate subject to confisca- 

The most prominent Townsend man, who was loyal 
to the crown and British ministry, was Joseph Adams, a 
physician. The fact appears in the Middlesex county 
records, that in 1774, he bought sixty-five acres of land, 
"situate about a mile north of the meeting house," of one, 
Josiah Burge. The house he lived in is the same building 
now occupied as a dwelling by Mr. Daniel Dix. This 
was just before the road was made, running nearly diago- 
nally through the Hathorn farm, which passes by this 
house. The name of Dr. Adams appears only once in 
the town records (except in the tax-lists), and then in con- 
nection with the making of this road. His name appears 
in the list of Middlesex county absentees, in the Massachu- 
setts Archives, volume 154, page 332 ; James Locke being 
appointed agent, by the Judge of Probate, to take care of 
the propert}'. 


Dr. Adams probably fled from town before the ap- 
pointment of the committee to look after the tories. From 
the Boston Gazette, February 14, 1780: — 

"Public notice is hereby given, that there .will be a 
Lett at Public Auction, to the highest Bidder, on Thursday 
the 1 6th day of March next at One of the Clock afternoon 
at the house of Nathan Conant, Innholder in said Town- 
shend ; the real Estate of Joseph Adams, Physician, an 
absentee,' consisting of a good Farm in Townshend, about 
I mile from the meetinghouse conveniently situated, with 
good buildings thereon, with a Pew in the meetinghouse — 
Also a House and about 12 Acres of Land in Pepperell, 
lying on the County Road. Said premises to be Leased 
for one year from the First Day of April next. 

"Townshend Feb. 8, 1780. 

James Locke Agent." 

After the close of the war, the real estate of Dr. 
Adams, under the confiscation act, was sold by the agent, 
and James Prescott and others were appointed a committee 
to settle with his creditors, consisting of Rev. Samuel Dix, 
Captain Joseph Adams, and others, of this town.* 

Lorenzo Sabine, author of the History of the Loyal- 
ists, "supposes" that this Dr. Adams was a graduate of 
Harvard College, in 1743. The Joseph Adams of that 
class died at Barnstead, New Hampshire, in 1803, but 
thus far nothing can be traced which goes to show, beyond 
a doubt, that he was once the tory of Townsend. 

At the close of the war, there was considerable pres- 
sure on the part of absentees, or runawa}^ tories, from all 
parts of the country, for the privilege of returning to the 
places that were once their homes. To this the patriots 
never consented. 

*Avchives, volume 155, page 53. 


On April 17th, 1783, the town of Boston sent the fol- 
lowing letter and a copy of the proceedings of a meeting 
at Faneuil Hall, concerning the absentees : — 

''To the committee of correspondence &c. the selectmen of 
the Town or Plantation of Townsend to be commu- 
nicated to the Town or Plantation. 

"Gentlemen: By the enclosed Resolve, transmitted 
to you by the directions of this town at their late meeting, 
you may form some judgement of their sentiments respect- 
ing the absentees, and your Wisdom and Patriotism will 
determine as to the Propriety and Usefulness of coming 
into the same or similar Resolves. 

" This town does not presume to dictate to any of their 
Sister Towns, but they always received with pleasure, 
their Sentiments with respect to what concerns the public 
Good. The advantages that have been derived from thus 
freely communicating the sentiments of each other, during 
the late Struggle with our most inveterate internal and ex- 
ternal Enemies, are of too great Magnitude to need point- 
ing out. 

"We sincerely congratulate you that through the Favor 
of Providence, we are now like, if not w^anting to our- 
selves, to reap the glorious Fruits of the Blood and Treas- 
ure we have freely offered, by a Peace, in all its particulars, 
fully answerable to our most sanguine Expectations. 

"Our Happiness as a Nation, will, however, under 
GOD, depend principly upon preserving our Morals and 
our Manners, and maintaining good Faith and Friendship 
with our natural and generous Allies, the French, who 
reached out to us their supporting Hand in the Hour 
of our Distress, and whose interest it is to maintain the 


Independence of our Country and the Freedom of our 
Fishery and Navigation. 

"In order to this we must timely and cautiously guard 
against the Machnations and influence of our late Enemies 
the Britons ; and surely the British King cannot have more 
Subservient Tools and Emmessaries amongst us for the 
purpose of sowing the Seeds of Dissention in this, infant 
Nation, and disaflfecting us to our magnanimous and faith- 
ful Ally, the Monarch of France, than the generality of 
the Refugees, whose inveteracy to him, and deceit and 
cruelty to their Countr3-men have been manifest as the 

"The inhabitants of this Town do, therefore, in general, 
most heartil}' depricate their return. Alarmed by a late 
attempt of a number of the obnoxious Refugees to land at 
Dartmouth, and by Reports that interest was making for 
the return of others to their Estates, the Rights of citizen- 
ship and the enjoyment of that Happiness they had been 
the main instruments of making us thus long sorely toil 
and bleed for, has excited this vigilence and care to pre- 
vent their Return. 

"They have, therefore, requested the Committee of 
Correspondence, Inspection and Safety, to keep a watchful 
Eye, in order to discover such intruders, that Informations 
may be immediately given to proper authority, that they 
may be dealt with as the Law directs. They have not 
presumed to draw the line between any Classes of Con- 
spirators and Absentees, as that will be the Business of 
Government : they have only directed the committee to 
pursue the directions of Congress, and the Laws of this 
Commonwealth, as it was before their duty to do. till this 
line shall be drawn. 



"And we cannot but flatter ourselves that it will appear 
to you, that this town have herein discovered that Judge- 
ment, Firmness and Patriotism in the common Cause of 
their Country, which early distinguished them in their 
Opposition to the Measures pursued by Britain for their 
slavery and Ruin. We shall feel happy to be informed 
that your Town will so far approve of our conduct, as to 
adopt similar Measures for the Interest, Quiet and Safety 
of this and the other United States, and we have the 
honor to subscribe ourselves your most obedient Humble 

Nat'l Barber 

Chairman Per Order.'* 

"Boston, April lo, 1783. 

"At a meeting of the freeholders and other Inhabitants 
of the Town of Boston, duly qualified and legally warned 
in public Town Meeting, assembled at Faneuil Hall, by 
adjournment, April 7, 1783. 

"Whereas by a Resolve of the Legislature of this 
Commonwealth, passed on the 13th of February, 1776, 
the several Towns were directed and empowered, at their 
annual meetings in March, to choose Committees of 
Correspondence, Inspection and Safety, whose business 
(among other things) is to communicate Matters of Im- 
portance to Comrnittees of the same Denomination, to any 
other town, county or state, or to the General Assembl}' or 

"And Whereas the present circumstance of the United 
States requires, that committees so appointed should use 


their utmost Industry and Care to effect the great and im- 
portant Purposes of their appointment, at a time when 
Interest is making for the readmitting Absentees and Con- 
spiritors, to return into this and other of the United States : 
Therefore — 

"RESOLVED, That this Town will at all times, (as 
they have done) to the utmost of their Power, Oppose 
every Enemy to the just Rights and Liberties of Mankind : 
And that after so wicked a Conspiric}^ against those Rights 
and Liberties, by certain Ingrates, most of them Natives 
of these States, and who have been Refugees and declared 
Traitors to their Country, — it is the Opinion of this Town, 
that they ought never to be suffered to return, but be ex- 
cluded from having Lot or Portion among us. 

"And the- Committee of Correspondence are hereby 
requested, as by the law of this Commonwealth they are 
fully empowered to write to the several Towns in this 
Commonwealth, and desire them to come into the same, or 
similar Resolves if they shall think tit. 

Att. William Cooper Town Clerk.'" 

Townsend, at a town meeting on the twelfth of May 
following, voted not to allow the return of the absentees, 
and that the selectmen communicate the vote of the town 
to the town of Boston. All the towns on the coast, as 
well as Boston, had more interest in the return of these 
tories than the inland towns, for more of them belonged 
to these towns.* 

It is in history, that on the thirtieth of April, 1775, 
Gen. Gage made a proposal, "that those persons in the 

*From the Boston Gazette, Sept. 1, 1783: ''Joseph Adams. Physician, and John 
Smith, Trader, both of To^^Tishend, were forbidden to return." 


country who inclined to move into Boston with their effects, 
might have Hberty to do so without molestation." To this 
the Provincial Congress assented, and "officers were ap- 
pointed to grant permits, and a large number of tories,' as 
they were called by the patriots, availed themselves to 
seek the shelter of the British guns." 

There are good reasons for supposing, that two or 
more of the Townsend tories took advantage of this chance 
of escape, for their names, as far as is known, never after- 
ward appeared on any records of the town. 

We now resume the account of the labors of the 

It is impossible for the people of the present day, 
being removed a century from "the time that tried men's 
souls," to realize how completely that struggle called into 
exercise every resource, and the entire energy of every 
individual throughout the town. No matter how low his 
condition, and how limited his means for supporting him- 
self and his family, every man was called upon to act — 
to exert himself to the extent of his ability, or be con- 
sidered a tory. Poverty was no shield against liability to 
engage in the common cause. The poorest day laborer, 
though clothed in rags, was required to arouse and render 
his help in the defence of his country. Men of money 
were obliged, by law as well as by public opinion, to open 
their purses, as well as to give neat cattle for beef, salt 
pork, rye meal, commissary stores, and everything neces- 
sary for army supplies. 

The women of that period were equally patriotic and 
strained every nerve in the American cause. One instance, 
among thousands, of the devotion of the fair sex to the 
cause of freedom, displayed by the New England women, 


which occurred in Townsend, is worthy of record. The 
narrator was a daughter of James Lock, Esq. : — 

"Late one afternoon of one of the last days in May. 
1777, when I was a few months short of fifteen years old, 
notice came to Townsend, where my father used to live, 
that fifteen soldiers were wanted. 

"The train band was instantly called out, and mv 
brother, next older than myself, was one that was se- 
lected. He did not return till late that night when all 
were in bed. When I arose in the morning, I found my 
mother in tears, who informed me that my brother John 
was to march the day alter to-morrow, at sunrise. My 
father was at Boston, in the Massachusetts Assembl}'. 
Mother said that though John was supplied with summer 
clothes, he must be away seven or eight months, and 
would suffer for want of winter garments. There was at 
this time, no store, and no articles to be had, except such 
as each family would make itself. The sight of a mother's 
tears always brought all the hidden strength of the mind 
to action. I immediately asked her what garments were 
needful. She replied, 'pantaloons.' 'Oh, if that is all," 
said I, 'we will spin and weave him a pair before he goes.' 

"'Tut,' said my mother, 'the wool is on the sheep's 
back, and the sheep are in the pasture.' 

"I immediately turned to a younger brother, and bade 
him take a salt-dish and call them to the yard. 

"Mother replied, 'Poor child, there are no sheep shears 
within three miles and a half.' 

"'I have some small shears at the loom,' said L 

"'But we cannot spin and weave it in so short a time.' 

"'I am certain we can, mother.' 

'"How can you weave it? There is a long web of linen 
in the loom.' 

"'No matter I can find an empty loom.' 

"By this time the sound of the sheep made me quicken 
my steps toward the yard. I requested my sister to bring 


me wheel and cards, while I went for the wool. I went to 
the yard with my brother, and secured a white sheep, from 
which 1 sheared, with my loom shears, half enough for 
the web ; we then let her go with the rest of the flock. I 
sent the wool in with my sister. Luther ran off for a black 
sheep, and held her while I cut ofl:' wool for my filling and 
half the warp, and then we allowed her to go with the 
remaining part of her fleece. The wool thus obtained was 
duly carded and spun, washed, sized and dried ; a loom 
was found a few doors ofl', the web got in, woven and pre- 
pared, and the pantaloons were cut and made, two or three 
hours before my brother's departure ; that is to say, in forty 
hours from the commencement, without help from any 
modern improvement." 

The lady closed by saying, "I felt no weariness, I 
wept not — I was serving my country ; I was assisting poor 
mother ; I was preparing a garment for my darling brother. 
The garment being finished, I retired and wept till my 
overcharged heart was relieved." 

James Locke, the father of the lady who gave this 
account of her brother John's pantaloons, moved from 
Townsend, to Sullivan, New Hampshire, in 1784, where 
he died, 1808, aged 78. The heroine of this story, his 
daughter, Miss Eunice Locke, about that time married a 
man b}' the name of Richards, who resided in Townsend 
a year or more. Her husband died in middle age, and 
she survived him and died somewhere in the state of 
Michigan, at an advanced age. She is represented as 
possessing much intelligence combined with great perse- 
verance, and a winning, lady-like modesty. 

John, her brother, for whom the garment was made, 
was born 1761. After serving in the war at two or three 
different calls upon the town for men, and before peace 



was declared, he joined a privateer, and died of the yelloM' 
fever at the island of Antigua, in 1783, aged 22. 

This family lived about a mile and a half northeasterly- 
from the Harbor, on the west side of the road that runs 
almost on the line between the towns of Pepperell and 

"State of Massachusetts. *Capt. James Hosley's 
Muster Roll of Volunteers who turned out of the towns of 
Townshend, Pepperell and Ashby and marched with him 
to the assistance of Major General Gates, agreeable to a 
Resolve of the General Court of said State upon Sep- 
tember 22d 1777 in the Regiment w^hereof Jonathan Reed 
is Colonel. 

James Hosley, Capt. 
Asa Kendall, Lieut. 
Nath^ Sartell, Lieut. 
Daniel Adams, Clerk. 
Thomas Shattuck. Sergt. 
Asa Shedd, Sergt. 
Lemuel Patts, Sergt. 
Benjamin Whitney, Sergt 
William Stevens, Corpl. 
Thomas Fisk, Corpl. 
Samuel Stone, Corpl. 
Abel Richardson, Corpl. 
William Prescott, Esq. 

formerly Colonel. 
Henry Wood, Esq. 

formerly Major. 
Samuel Stone, 

Major in the Militia. 

Abram Clark, Lieut. 
Abner Adams, Sergt. 
Nath^ Bailey, Sergt. 
David Hey\vood, Sergt. 
Elijah Wyman, Sergt. 
Benj'^ Adams, Corpl. 
Jedediah Jewett, Corpl. 
Joseph Lawrence, Corpl. 
Joseph Shattuck, Corpl. 
John Boynton. 
Joseph Baldwin. 
Abner Brooks. 
Abraham Boynton. 
Sampson Bowers. 
Jonas Baldwin. 
Daniel Butterfield. 
Isaac Blood. 
Daniel Clark. 

♦Massachusetts Revolutionary Rolls, vol. 19, page 177. 



James Campbell. 
John Emery. 
John Eaton. 
Isaac Farrar. 
Jonas Farmer. 
James Giles. 
James Green. 
James Hilldrith. 
Benj'^ Ball. 
Joshua Hosley. 
Samuel Henshaw. 
Abel Hildreth. 
Benj^ Hudson. 
Daniel Jewell. 
Asa Kendall, Jr. 
David Locke. 
Thomas Lawrence. 

John Locke. 
John Manning. 
John Stevens. 
Richard Stevens. 
Samuel Seward. 
Nath'-. Sartell, Jr. 
Daniel Sherwin, Jr. 
William Tarbell. 
Samuel Wright, Jr. 
Joseph Walker. 
Jacob Wright. 
Timothy Warren. 
Pomp Phillis. 
John Emerson. 
Nathan Lovejoy. 
Timothy Hodgman." 

These volunteers were in the service one month and 
fifteen days, and the pay of the soldiers was £3 15s., that 
of the officers being about sixty per cent, more than that 
sum. This was one of the most efficient military com- 
panies, that went to the war, from this part of Middlesex- 
county, Col. Prescott, the hero of Bunker Hill, and two of 
his subordinate officers were in the ranks of this corps, 
which on the seventeenth of October, 1777, assisted in sur- 
rounding the haughty Burgoyne, at Saratoga. 

Pomp Phillis, whose name appears in this roll, was a 
servant of one of the privates from Pepperell, in this com- 
pany, and a few of this black man's descendants may now 
be found in Temple, New Hampshire, and perhaps in 
other places. Nearh' all the men under Capt. Hosley had 
previously been in the service. 

The soldiers who performed guard duty at Cam- 
bridge, while the British prisoners captured by Gen. Gates" 


army, were quartered there, were drafted from the militia. 
The names of the Townsend men have not been found, 
although it is beyond a doubt that the town was represented 
at that point. 

In January, 1778, the town "approved the articles of 
confederation between the United States of America," and 
instructed their representative "to give his vote in the 
General Court in compliance therewith." 

The town, during the war, kept up their "committee of 
correspondence, inspection and safety." In 1778, James 
Lock, Samuel Manning, Lemuel Petts, Daniel Adams, 
Jr., and Samuel Ma3'nard, w^ere said committee. At this 
meeting "voted to give forty pounds to each of the last ten 
continental men that were hired in this town." In March, 
1778, "voted that the selectmen provide for the wives of 
Messrs. Ephraiii], Warren, Jr., Solomon Parce, William 
Stacy, John Sloan, and all others, agreeably to the Court's 
act for providing for the families of such persons as are 
in the continental service." 

This record is instructive in showing, not only the 
promptness of the town in complying with the act of the 
Assembly, but the politeness of the town clerk in calling 
these poor patriots, J/I?55r5., who had "periled all in the 
sacred cause of freedom." 

During this year, 1778, town meetings followed in 
rapid succession; the fourth one, on May nth, was called 
"to see if the town will come into some method that will be 
effectual to raise the men, called for of said town, for the 
public service by the resolves of the General Court April 
20 1778." At this meeting "Voted to give £130 to each of 
the continental men, and eighty pounds to each of the 
militia men." 



It must be kept in remembrance that when the war 
commenced, the enthusiasm of the people was at its height 
and the pay was good : after this period it became neces- 
sary to resort to some regular system for keeping our 
quota good. Besides, the seat of war was so much farther 
from home than at first, that there was more dread to enlist 
in the service. 

Townsend then had two militia companies, organized 
about 1774, known as the North Company and the South 
Company. These companies are called the "training 
bands" in the records. The men of the town were en- 
rolled from sixteen to sixty-five years of age, in these two 
companies, the dividing line between the two companies 
being the old county road. Whenever a call was made 
for troops from this town, these companies would meet and 
equalize the number of men each company was obliged 
to furnish. Generally, the soldiers from this town, during 
this year, received bounties, but some went for less bounty 
than was offered by the town at that time. In some 
instances members of these two companies cast lots among 
themselves to see who should go. The man upon whom 
the lot fell had to shoulder his musket and march, or hire 
a substitute. The number of men who could afford to hire 
substitutes was limited. One feature is worth recording : 
Townsend sent no men to the war except its own sons and 

In May, 1778, the State Constitution was submitted to 
the people for their approval or disapproval. Townsend 
voted : for the constitution fitly-one, against it two. Con- 
sidering the importance of the subject, this would seem a 
small vote for a town of more than six hundred inhabitants ; 
but it must be recollected that a large number of voters were 


in the army. In June, more men ^vere called for, to rein- 
force the army in Rhode Island. In these trying times so 
great was the demand for the sinews of war, that an article 
was inserted in the warrant: "To see if the town will sell 
the school Lot." This article was passed over. At all 
these town meetings the war w^as the all-absorbing subject, 
in regard to raising and paying the men. The committee 
to estimate the services done by the citizen soldiery in the 
war was active during the year, according to the vote of 
the town. 

The year 1779 was equally eventful. At this time, 
the depreciation of the currency was the trouble. The 
following brief extract describes the affairs, at that time, 
in a masterh' manner : — 

"At the commencement of the war, gold and silver 
were scarce articles ; and it was soon found that if some- 
thing could not be devised as a substitute for the precious 
metals, the patriots must give^up the contest, and surrender 
all hope of gaining Independence. Congress ordered the 
issuing of notes, or bills, to a large amount, promising to 
redeem them at a convenient season. This currency, 
called Continental Money, soon came into extensive circu- 
lation. The bills, instead of being executed in the elegant 
style of our bank note engravings, were rude, coarse prints 
on coarser paper, and consequently were easily counter- 
feited. The British, actuated by the double motive of 
making monev and ruining the credit of our govern- 
ment, flooded the country with counterfeits, so well 
executed that they could not be distinguished from the 
true ones. In 1777, the bills began to depreciate; and all 
intelligent men soon saw that it w^ould be impossible for 
the government ever to tultil their pledge of redeeming 
them. The government, not being able, or not choosing 
to devise anv other means to raise the credit of the bills. 


in an evil hour made them a legal tender for the payment 
of all debts due. 

"The consequence of this measure may be seen at a 
glance. Never, since the time of the flood, Vvere debtors 
more ready and anxious to pay their debts, or creditors 
more unwilling to receive their money. Of mone}', such 
as it was, there was no scarcity, and miserably poor was 
he who could not count his thousands. Then was the sun 
of prosperity darkened upon the prospects of those upon 
whom it is usually supposed to shine with peculiar favor. 
I refer to the lenders of money. Hundreds who before 
were in comfortable circumstances — more than supported 
by the income of their money — experienced the singular 
satisfaction of having every debt paid them, and while 
gazing upon their masses of money, reflecting that they 
were reduced to poverty." 

In June, 1779, a town meeting was called, with this 
article in the warrant : "To see what the town will give to 
the men for the nine months continental service, rather 
than proceed to a draught." On this article "Voted to offer 
.each Soldier of our quota of the nine months men, 1000 
Dollars, or 90 Bushels of Rye." 

The average number of men which the town kept in 
the field from this time to the end of the war is not accu- 
rately known, but probably the number will not vary much 
from twenty. There is little on record concerning this ; 
and it would be equally difficult to ascertain the amount of 
money paid the soldiers by the town, inasmuch as the 
value of the continental money varied all the time. Be- 
sides the expense of taking care of the families of about 
one-third of these men, which bore heavily on the town, 
can never be estimated. 

The following list of names is the only roll to be 
found in the records of Townsend : "Names of the six 


months men in the continental service for 1780 — Travel 
220 miles : — 

Eleazer Butterfield. Jonathan Wheelock. 

William Stagey. Benjamin Hill. 

Isaac Spalding. Timothy Shattuck. 

John Sherwin. Benj"^ *Weatherbee." 
Peter Adams. 

While the continental scrip was rapidly depreciating 
in value, the people of Massachusetts did their utmost to 
arrest its shrinkage and to keep the prices of goods and 
labor where they then were. 

The prominent men, one or two from each town, in 
this part of the Commonwealth, met in convention at Con- 
cord, in July, and^gain in October of this year, "to state 
the prices of the necessaries of life." This was merely a' 
repetition of a similar arrangement two years before this 
time ; the difference being a tenfold increase of prices from 
that time. It is as difficult to legislate soundness into a 
paper currency as it is piety into a politician. Public 
opinion and common sense will scrutinize the intrinsic 
value, the real gold which each contains. The convention 
at Concord, in October, tixed the prices for the towns in 
this neighborhood with much precision. The prices of 
these "necessaries of life" are in part, as follows, begin- 
ning as here inserted : — 

West India Rum, per gallon, £6 iis. 

New England Rum, per gallon, 4 i8s. 

Molasses, per gallon, 4 15s." 

Tea, per pound, 6 oos. 


They appeared to have forgotten about throwing tea 
overboard. Everything in this list, long as the previous 
one, was in proportion, in regard to price, with the fore- 
going articles. Beans were worth £5 2s., wheat £7 13s., 
and near the end of the list may be found ''West India 
Phlip," per mug, 15s., and the last article on the schedule 
is "Cyder," per mug, 2s. 

The resolutions (now on record, vol. 2, town records, 
page 190,) passed by the town in 1779, concerning the 
price of labor and goods were similar to those passed by 
other towns at that period : — 

"ist. Resolved that this town will use its utmost en- 
deavors, to carry the resolves of the aforesaid convention 
(at Concord) into execution, and if any shall be so lost to 
public virtue and the common interest of America, as to 
violate said resolves, or any of them, we will view them as 
enemies of mankind, unworthy to enjoy the benefits of 
society, and we w^ill withdraw all connections and corres- 
pondence from them." 

Four other resolves following this are equally pointed. 
The names of those, who, in any sale, violated this list of 
prices, were "to be posted up in some public place in this 
and the adjacent towns," and "published in one of the 
Boston News Papers." Exchanging gold and silver for 
paper money at unequal rates, subjected the names of the 
offenders to the same publicity. 

These patriots exhibited the utmost solicitude and the 
deepest feeling concerning their currency. That men of 
intelligence should then for a moment suppose, that any 
action similar to that taken in this case, would in the least 
increase the value of the scrip, or. would materially alter 


the course of trade, is not easily understood. The cur- 
rency depreciated as follows : — 

January 1778, $1.00 in specie equalled $4.50 continental. 
January 1779, $1.00 in '' equalled $8.34 "• 

January 1780, $1.00 in " equalled $32.50 " 

January 1781, $1.00 in " equalled $166.00 " 

This last comparison between the two only held 
good for a few weeks. In July, 1781, the town ''Voted 
to raise £40000 to defra}- the charges of the war, and 
other charges," and ''£6000 to make up the salery of 
Rev. Mr. Dix." In June, of the same year, the town 
"Voted to reduce £15000 raised last May to defray town 
charges, into £200 silver money to be assessed and to 
be paid in silver, or paper, at the legal exchange, as 
those that pay may choose." On January nth, 1782, an 
article was put in the warrant "To see if the town will 
order the constables not to receive any more paper money 
upon a town rate." On this, "Voted that Capt. Ball settle 
the town rates now in his hands that are 3'et unsettled at 
the rate of one silver dollar in Lieu of 85 paper dollars." 
This was a specified sum agreed upon by the town in that 
particular ca^e, and does not express the real value of 
scrip, which was then almost worthless. 

The collection of the foregoing facts in regard to the 
Revolutionary War, has been attended with much slow, 
plodding research, in investigating old manuscripts and 
documents outside of anything afforded by the records of 
the town. The writer has been unable to do justice, either 
to the subject, or the determined people of Townsend, 
who, at a moment's warning, and at different times, 
grasped their rude muskets and swords, and started to 


defend their heaithstones — their ahars against the in- 

It has been impossible to give the names of all the 
men v^ho tilled the quotas at the different calls on the State 
for soldiers. Neither can the names of all the persons 
who lost their lives in that conflict be correctly ascertained. 
Townsend lost six or seven men in this war, and' among 
that number were James Hosley, (quite a young man) , 
Israel Richardson, John Locke, and three others. Every- 
thing considered, the record of this town stands well, com- 
pared with the other towns in the Commonwealth. Within 
the bosom of the town was a nest of tories which caused 
them much trouble, but still its quota was always full. The 
best men of the town, the town clerks, the selectmen, its 
representatives to the General Court, all took their turn in 
the continental arm3% 

But the retrospect grows dim and shadowy as we turn 
back through the eventlul years of the century that has 

"Oh checkered train of years, farewell, 
With all thy strifes, and hopes, and tears ; 
But with us let the memories dwell 
To warn and teach the coming years." 



<Jauses which Led to the Eevolt— Mob at Springtiekl — Excitement hi 
Worcester County — The People of Concord in Fear of the In- 
surgents—Letter from Concord to the Neighboring Towns — 
Town Meetings and Committees at this Time — Job Shattuck 
and his Subalterns — Stopping the Courts — Capture of Shattuck— 
List of the Shaj^ Men Belonging to Townsend— Peter Butter- 
field — Luke Daj^ the Leading Spirit of the Insurrection— Daniel 

At the close of the revolution, the country was in a 
demoralized condition. Almost all the available wealth of 
the people, at the commencement of the war, had been 
expended to feed, clothe, and pay the troops. There was 
much dissatisfaction among the soldiers at being paid 
off in a worthless currency. The increase of the indebted- 
ness of the towns and of individuals, the scarcity of 
money, the decay of business, numerous lawsuits, and a 
want of confidence in the goverriment, particularly in re- 
gard to matters of finance, generated a depressed state of 
teeling, which caused great anxiety among the people. 
This state of feeling, in some degree, w^as coextensive with 
the commonwealth. People began to express great dis- 
approbation of the manner in which the government was 


administered, and a revolt was freely discussed, as earl}- 
as 1782. In Northampton, the insurgents were rather 
numerous. They were headed by a disappointed and 
disaffected clergyman, by the name of Ely, who under- 
stood all the arts of the demagogue. 

In 1783, a mob assembled in the town of Springfield, 
resolving itself into a general convention. Proceeding to 
the court house, on the appearance of the judges and 
sheriff, the\' opposed their entrance to that building. A 
riot was prevented by the timely intervention of some of 
the most influential citizens there present. 

For the next three years "the distressed state of 
affairs,'" as expressed in the Townsend records, con- 

In 1786, at a convention of insurgents, assembled in 
Worcester county, at Leicester, thirty-seven towns were 
represented, which, without any interruption, freely dis- 
cussed the propriety of obstrucdng the sitting of the 
General Court at Boston ; the closing of the county courts 
by force ; law abuses ; and other subjects.* 

In the counties of Middlesex, Bristol, and Berkshire, 
similar conventions were held, and votes and resolves 
passed. On September 5, 1786, a mob prevented the 
session of the court at Worcester. 

The voters in the towns of Groton, Pepperell, Shirley, 
and Townsend, were about equally divided on this subject. 
The town of Concord, where the court was then in session, 
was much excited, dreading the expected approach of the 
rebels against the state authorities. A majority of that 
town were in sympathy with the insurgents. Concord 

HollamVs Western Mass. 


addressed the following letter to most of the towns in this 
county, and Townsend among the number : — 

"To the Town of Townsend. 

''Gentlemen: Alarmed at the threatening aspect of 
our public affairs, this town has this day held a meeting, 
and declared unanimously their utter disapprobation of the 
disorderly proceedings of a number of persons in the 
counties of Hampshire and Worcester, in preventing the 
action of the courts. And apprehending the like may be 
attempted in this county, and probabU^ be attended with 
very dangerous consequences, we have thought it advisa- 
ble to endeavor in conjunction with as many of the 
neighboring towns, as we can give seasonable information 
to, by lenient measures, to dissuade from such rash con- 
duct as may involve the state in anarchy and confusion, 
and the deprecated horrors of civil war. We conceive 
the present uneasiness of the people to be not altogether 
groundless ; and although many designing men, enemies 
of the present government, may wish and actually are 
fomenting uneasiness among the people, yet we are fully 
pursuaded, that the views of by far the greater part, are 
to obtain redress of what they conceive to be real griev- 
ances. And since the method they have taken cannot 
fail of meeting the hearty disapprobation of every friend 
of peace and good order, we cannot but hope, from 
what we know of the strenuous exertions, which have 
been made by the towns around us, and in which those 
disorders above mentioned now exist, to purchase at the 
expense of blood our independence, and the great una- 
nimity with which they have established our present 
government ; and from what we know of the real grounds 


of their complaints ; were lenient measures used, and a 
number of towns united to endeavor, by every rational 
argument, to dissuade those wdio may seem refractorv 
trom measures which tend immediately to destroy the fair 
fabric of our government, and to join in legal and consti- 
tutional measures to obtain redress of what may be found 
real grievanfces ; they would be attended with happ}- 

"We have therefore chosen a committee to act in 
concert with the neighboring towns, for the purpose of 
mediating between opposing parties, should they meet. 
And we cannot but hope, our united endeavors to support 
the dignity of government and prevent the effusion of 
blood, will meet with general approbation, and be attended 
with happy consequences. 

"If the above should meet with your approbation, we 
request you to choose some persons to meet a committee of 
this town, chosen for that purpose, at the house of Captain 
Oliver Brown, innholder in Concord on Monday evening 
or Tuesday morning next, that we may confer together, 
and adopt measures which may be thought best calculated 
for the attainment of the end above proposed. 

"We are gentlemen, with great esteem and frendship 
your humble servants. 

Joseph Hosmer 
in behalf of the towns committee 
Concord Sept 9 1786"' 

Townsend, during this period, w^as in a state of great 
perplexity, judging from the records of many town meet- 
ings. In May, 1786, a warrant was posted calling a town 
meeting on the fifth of June following, when a committee 
of live men was chosen, "to draft public grievances," 


consisting of David Spafford, Jonathan Wallace, Daniel 
Adams, Benjamin Ball, and Thomas Seaver. The first 
and last named gentlemen on this committee were dis- 
affected men ; the other three were opposed to the insur- 
rection. At the same meeting chose the same men as "a 
committee to confer with other towns," and then adjourned 
to the twenty-sixth of the same month. Met at the adjourn- 
ment, and adjourned for two weeks. At this adjourned 
meeting, the town "chose two men to attend a convention 
(of insurgents) to be holden at Concord on the tvvent}-- 
third of August." 

There is no record of anything like a response to the 
letter sent to Townsend by the town of Concord. On the 
twelfth of September, three days atl:er the date of this 
letter, the insurgents marched into Concord and forcibly 
stopped the court. The "head centre"' of the insurrection, 
in Middlesex county, was Job Shattuck, of Groton, 
assisted by Nathan Smith and John Kelse}', of Shirlev, 
and Peter Butterfield, of Townsend. Shattuck served in 
the French war, and was a captain in the revolution. 
Smith, Kelsey, and Butterfield, his lieutenants, were 
military men, and had all been officers either in the militia 
or the continental service. Each of these men were well 
qualified to be conspicuous in such a cause. 

Meeting with no resistance in stopping the court at 
Concord, their deportment was insolent and offensive, in 
the extreme, towards the judges, the members of the bar, 
and ever}' one not disposed to be in sympathy with them. 
The court being ■ about to be holden, at Cambridge, the 
Governor ordered the militia to be in readiness to march to 
that place. At this time says a historian, "An influential 
character in Middlesex undertook to make an ao'reement 


with the leaders of that county, that no forces should 
appear on either side, and wrote a letter to the governor 
on this subject, to their satisfaction. Shattuck broke this 
agreement and arranged for a larger number of men to be 
collected from Bristol and Worcester counties." 

"Pursuant to this new scheme (the same historian) a 
small party of Middlesex insurgents, headed by Oliver 
Parker (Job Shattuck, their former Captain, coming in a 
secret manner in order to avoid the appearance of breaking 
his agreement) marched into the town of Concord. Upon 
their arrival, Shattuck proceeded in the night to Weston, 
to get intelligence of the Worcester forces, but though 
they had begun their march, they did not appear, and 
trom this want of co-operation the whole plan fell 

At this juncture, when an effort to stop the court, 
located so near the capital of the state, was nearly a 
success, without any further parley, or chance for the 
insurgents to rally their scattered forces, "warrants were 
issued for apprehending the head men of the insurgents, 
in Middlesex, and for imprisoning them without bail or 
mainprise." A company of horse was ordered from 
Boston to assist the Sheriff in the capture of Shattuck 
and his officers, which, on its arrival at Concord, was re- 
enforced by a party of mounted men from Groton, under 
Col. Henry Woods. This force succeeded in capturing 
two prisoners, Oliver Parker and Benjamin Page, but 
failed to hnd Shattuck during the day, as he had taken 
alarm and escaped. "Under this disappointment, at mid- 
night, in the midst of a violent snow-storm, the whole 
party were ordered on to Shattuck's house, in Groton, 
where they did not arrive till late in the morning. A 



search was immediately commenced, and judicious pur- 
suit discovered him to a part}^ of a few persons led by Col. 
Woods himself. Shattuck obstinately resisted and was 
not taken till he had received several wounds, which he 
returned without much injury."* 

The following list of the Townsend insurgents has 
been preservtsd among the papers on file with the town 
records. It is worthy of notice that about one-fourth of 
the persons in this list were young men in their minority. 
Fourteen of them had the suffix of Jr. to their names. 
Abraham Butterfield, the son of Peter, was less than 
seventeen years of age, and some of them less than sixteen 
years old. Man}' of these persons were the best men of 
the town, misguided though they were : — 

. Peter ButterfieW. 
Asa Heald. 
Samuel Stevens. 

Jonas Warren. 
Jacob Bachelder. 
Benia. Spaulding, Jr. 
Andrew Searle, Jr. 
Daniel Clark. 
Simeon Richardson. 
John Emery. 
Ephm. Lambson. 
Jonathan Pierce. 
Asa Stevens. 
Isaac Lewis. 
Andrew Searls. 
Jedediah Jewett. 
Elijah Dodge. 
Jesse Baldwin. 
Nathaniel Baile^■, Jr. 

Nathan Conant, Jr. 
Isaac Wallis, Jr. 
Reuben Gaschett. 
Benjamin Dix. 
William Stevens, Jr. 
David Wallace. 
James Ball. 
Asa Whitney. 
Isaac Wallis. 
Joseph Baldwin, Jr. 
Phinehas Baldwin. 
David Spafford, 3d. 
Solomon Parce. 
John Conant. 
Benja. Wood. 
Nathan Carlton. 
Samuel Searles. 
David Spafford. 
Eben'r Ball, Jr. 

*lt is said that Shattuck was taken on the ice in the Nashua River, near the New 
Hampshire line. 



Zackery Hildreth. -^ 
Aaron Proctor. ^ 
Phillip Warren.^ 
Isaac Green. ^ 
Isaac Giles. ^ 
Solomon Sherwin. i^ 
Azariah P. Sherwin. >/ 
Peter Adams. '^ 
Joseph Rumrill. \y 
Jonathan Sanderson. ^ 
Thomas Sever, v/ 
Josiah Burge, Jr.' 
Moses Burge. -y 
Abijah Monroe. '^ 
Abel Keys. ~ 
Elnathan Spalding. 
Josiah Richardson. 
Levi Whitney. 
Benja. Wallace. 
Moses Warren. 
Isaac Farrar, Jr. 
Stephen Warren. 
Jonas Ball. 

Abraham Ball. 
James Sloan.-^ 
Richard Warner. 
John Waugh, Jr. i/ 
Joel Davis, y 
Jeremiah Ball.^ 
Charles Richards. ■< 
Jesse Ma\1iard. v 
Nath'l Bowers. ^' 
Josiah Rice. _^ 
Abraham Buttertield.^ 
John Campbell, Jr.v^ 
Jonas Campbell. i/ 
John Colburn*.^ 
John Graham;"'' 
Benja. Brooks, Jr,'^ 
Thad's Spaulding. 
Abijah Hildreth. 
Abel Green. 
Isaac Spalding. 
William Wallace. 
John Giles. 
Aaron Scott. 

About thirty of the young men, whose names appear 
in the above list, marched to Concord under Lieut. Peter 
Butterfield, and were present at the time the court was 

A strict search, in and around Townsend, was made 
tor Butterfield, b}^ the -posse-comitatus under Colonel 
Woods w^hen Shattuck was taken, but he eluded his pur- 
suers. During a part of this winter, lie secreted himself 
in a cabin masked with evergreens, on the hill northwest- 
erly from his house, in plain sight of the same, where he 
was apprised of approaching danger by signals from his 


wife. At length his retreat was discovered, and his 
pursuers followed his track on the snow till nearly night, 
when, getting into a secluded place in a thicket, in the 
dusk of the evening, they lost sight of his track and 
abandoned further pursuit. After he was satisfied that his 
enemies had departed, he took a direct course for the house 
of one of his friends, who immediately took him over the 
line into New Hampshire. His exertions to escape flooded 
him with perspiration, so that waiting, in a frosty atmos- 
phere, to be sure that the officers had gone, he took a 
violent cold, which induced rheumatism, from which he 
suffered more or less during the remainder of his life. He 
never was arrested by the officers, and there is no certifi- 
cate from an}^ magistrate, showing that he took the oath of 
allegiance, to be foimd, although the same file of papers 
in which these names were found, contains the certificates 
of different magistrates, before whom sixty of these men 
took that oath. He was a man of excellent moral charac- 
ter, very industrious, and had many friends. 

The leading spirit of this insurrection, in Massachu- 
setts, was Luke Day, of Springfield. He had been a 
captain in the revolution, and was a popular bar room 
orator in that town. 

Daniel Shays, from whom the outbreak takes its 
name, was born in Hopkinton, 1747. After his rebellion 
was crushed he fled to Vermont, and afterwards moved to 
Sparta, New York, where he died September 29, 1825. 
He was a pensioner of the United States, having been a 
captain in the revolution. 

Perhaps there never was so much smoke and so little 
fire, or so small a show of talent or brains in any insurrec- 
tion as in the Shays Rebellion. The insurgents appeared 



to dread a collision with the troops, during the whole time 
they were in arms against the government. All the losses 
in this rebellion were — three killed, and one hundred and 
fifty taken prisoners — all Shays men. 

At the next session of the General Court (1787), an 
alteration of certain laws was effected, which made ever}- 
thing satisfactory to the entire voting population of the 



Early Action of tlie Town to Preserve the *• Candlewood " — Home 
Instruction in the Log-Cabins — First Record of Any Eftort to 
Establish a Public School — First School-House— Account of 
Several of the School-Houses— Division of the Town into "Nine 
Squadrons" in 1783 — First School Committee in 1706 — West 
Townsend Female Seminary — Townsend Academy — General In- 
terest in Education — Names of Some Pi-omincnt Teachers- 
Sketch of Hon. Seth Davis. 

The settlers of this town, in common with the citizens 
of all the tow^ns in this Commonwealth, displayed much 
sagacity in all matters concerning their future welfare. 
As early as 1734, the proprietors' records contained the 
following : — 

"Voted that Jasher Wyman, Lieut. Daniel Taylor and 
Nathaniel Richardson be a com^'''^ to take effectual care 
that there be no Strip or Waste made of Timber^or Tim- 
ber cutt — or Pines boxed, or Candlewood picked up for 
tarr, upon y® undivided Land ; and to sue and Prosecute 
any persons whom they shall find Guilty of said offences. 
Also to prosecute any persons who have been Guilty 
thereof, or take satisfaction therefor for y® use of y*^ pro- 


In connection with these precautionary measures, one 
interesting fact may be learned from this extract, and that 
is, the importance that was attached to the value of the 
"candlewood," or resinous pitch-pine, scattered on the un- 
divided land. 

Families, at that time, were generally quite large, 
and almost every one of them constituted a school by itself. 
Around the capacious fireplaces, common in those days, 
sat the sons and daughters, in order, according to their 
age and advancement, while the father or mother acted as 
teacher. Their cabin walls, and the shining faces of 
youth and beauty within, were illumined through the long 
winter evenings by the pine knot light ; and no one can say 
that this training, in their rude domicils, was not sufficient 
to furnish the town with amiable women and honorable 
men. Every opportunity for intellectual improvement, 
within their limited means, was then turned to their 
advantage, and a complete exemplification of the maxim 
"where there is a will there is a way" has come down to 
us in their example. 

The first record of any effort for a public school was 
in 1744, when the town "Voted to raise twenty pounds old 
tenor for the support of a school, and chose two men 
as a committee to provide a school-master : John Conant 
chosen first, Josiah Robbins second." The record further 
states where the school should be kept at different dwelling- 
houses, in different parts of the town ; the north school at 
the house of Benjamin Brooks, the school at the middle of 
the town at Joseph Baldwin's and the south school at Dan- 
iel Taylor's. One man, without doubt, taught the school at 
these three places. There is no record to show the name 
of the first teacher in Townsend. 


From 1745 to 1750, the town raised twenty pounds, old 
tenor, for the support of schools, which were kept at 
several different places. In 1746, the town "Voted to build 
a school-house on the highway between John Wallis' and 
Samuel Manning's." It was to be twenty-three feet long 
and eighteen feet wide. This house was never built, or 
rather, there is no further mention of any school-house or 
school in that locality. In 1749, the town "Voted to raise 
£10 lawful money to support a school," and designated 
three places at which it should be kept, one of which was 
"at the new school-house in the middle of the town." The 
foundation of this first school-house in Townsend may still 
be seen, on the easterly side of the highway, nearly 
opposite to the spot where the first meeting-house stood. 
There is no record of the time when this house was erected, 
but probably it was done during 1747. 

From 1754 to 1766, the town, each year, appropriated 
£8 lawful money for the support of a school, and decided 
where it should be kept. 

In 1753, the records show that there was a "school- 
house on the south side of the river," but the time when it 
was built, or its size, is not known, neither can the precise 
spot where it stood be pointed out. At that time, by far 
the largest part of the inhabitants of Townsend lived in 
the east part of the town, within three miles of the east 
line thereof, so that a school on Nissequassick hill, one at 
the middle of the town, and one just south of the Harbor, 
would accommodate the people in the best possible 

In 1770, "Voted to allow the north end of the town 
£12 old tenor of their school rate to be spent with a school 
mistress with that squadron." There is nothing on record, 


or in tradition, whereby the name of this teacher can be 
ascertained, but the record, as far as it goes, is interesting, 
inasmuch as it shows a due appreciation of the worth and 
ability of women, as educators, more than one hundred 
years ago. Considering the small amount of money 
appropriated at that time, it may be inferred that females 
did a large share of the work of teaching. 

From the settlement of the town, to the time at which 
we have arrived, in its educational history every oppor- 
tunity was improved by the people to advance the cause of 
learning and piety. 

It is evident, from the manner in which the town 
records were made during the first half century of our 
municipal existence, that the town clerks were men of 
considerable culture. Their chirography will not suffer 
when compared with their successors, or even with the 
efforts of the present generation. It is true, that in some 
instances, they showed bad spelling, but, considering their 
advantages, the wonder is that they filled this office with 
so much credit to themselves and to the town. 

In 1783, beginning to realize that the}^ had thrown oft' 
the British yoke, and feeling the spirit of independence 
stirring within them, the people at a town meeting in Mav, 
chose a committee of nine "to divide the town into 
squadrons for convenience for schooling." The word 
"squadron" — meaning districts — is to be tbund in most of 
the New England town records of the period now under 
consideration. It is difficult to understand why this word 
is used in this sense, unless it was brought over by the 
puritans, who used it in their native country to express 
portions of a city, or a county, laid out in a quadrangular 
manner. The lines of our school districts were verv 
irregular, whicii makes the term still less appropriate. 


The committee divided the town into seven parts, for 
school purposes, and designated the location of the several 
school-houses. The names given to these squadrons 
were, the North, East, South, Bayberry Hill, West, 
Northwest, and Centre schools. 

The North school-house, made at that time, stood at 
the north end of the six rod road over Wallace hill, a short 
distance west of the present school-house in that part of 
the tow^n. About 1807, when the present house was built, 
that house was found to be too small, and it was aban- 
doned as a school building, and finally sold. It now 
stands on the said six rod road, about one hundred rods 
nearly south of where it was built, and is used by our 
worthy adopted citizen, Mr. Beckernort, for a cooper 

The East school-house was situated on the same road 
over the hill, about a mile and a half south of the north 
school-house. This was the most populous part of the 
town one hundred years ago. There are quite a number 
of old cellars and foundations for dwellings in that vicinity, 
where once stood the loved homes of "kindred, parents 
and children," now forgotten and unfrequented, except to 
gather the luscious berries that cluster around the stone 
walls near these ruins. 

The South school-house stood about a mile southerly 
of the first bridge west of the Harbor pond. 

The Bayberry Hill school-house was situated only a 
short distance from the school-house now standing in that 
part of the town. 

The West school-house was built nearly opposite the 
spot where the owners of Ash Swamp pass through a 
gate, leading oft' from the Ashby road, to approach their 


The Northwest school-house was situated on the side 
of the road leading from the cemetery, in West Townsend, 
to the old turnpike. On the south end of this house was 
a nice sundial, made and presented to this school by 
Hezekiah Richardson. 

The Centre school-house probably stood on the same 
foundation, occupied by the first school-house in that 
district, which, in 1783, had been built thirty-four or thirtv- 
five years, and it undoubtedly was too small for the 
accommodation of this central location. 

Most of these houses were built in 1784. In October 
of that year the town appropriated "£40 to build seven 
school houses." The size and style of these buildings 
may be learned from the one still standing, which is 
twenty feet long and fourteen feet wide. These structures 
were in use for the purposes for which they were intended, 
till the first years of the present century, when they were 
superseded by a more commodious and better class of 

The Northwest "squadron" did not build its house 
for ten or eleven years after all the others were finished. 
The inhabitants of that part of the town, then as well as 
now, were scattered over a large territory, and thev 
probably preferred being without a school, than raise the 
twenty pounds required to build their house. 

On all three roads, leading from different parts of 
Townsend to Mason, were families which lived within a 
short distance of the state line, and they were obliged to 
travel more than two miles to reach their school-house. 
There was considerable feeling throughout the town when 
these districts were made. It always has been, and 
probably always will be, very difficult to satisfy this sec- 
tion of the town in its school accommodations. 


In October, 1784, "Voted to raise £24 for the sup- 
port of a school, in addition to the £6 interest due the 
town for that- purpose." The six pounds was the interest 
which accrued on one hundred pounds, left the town by 
a legacy from Lieut. Amos Whitney, which has been 
mentioned in another part of this work. From this time, 
till 1800, the amount appropriated by the town tor schools, 
varied from thirty to eighty pounds. 

Nothing of importance is on record in regard to 
educational affairs, tVom the time these squadrons were 
made till the population of the town had increased so that 
larger houses were required. 

In 1796, "Voted to choose a man in each school 
squadron for a school committee. Chose Samuel Stone, 
Jonathan Wallace, Life Baldwin, Jacob Blodgett, Ephraim 
Lampson, John Sherwin, and Daniel Adams, Esq., for 
said committee." 

This first school committee chosen in Townsend, was 
made up of men of prominence in the districts to which 
they belonged. What they lacked in the higher branches 
of mathematics, as taught at the present time in our gram- 
mar schools, and on which much time is lost b\' pupils 
who never expect to fill any learned profession, they made 
up in square common sense, general intelligence, and 
integrity of character. A committee of this kind was not 
chosen every year, till the state made a law obliging ever\- 
town to elect a superintending school committee. 

In 1797, the town appropriated $300 for the schools, 
and this was the sum raised till 1802, when $350 was the 
sum. In 1803, $400 was appropriated, and this amount 
was annually repeated till 1807, when $500 was raised, 
which sum was found to be sufficient, for the satisfaction 
of the town for school purposes, for about twenty 3^ears. 


The school-houses which took the places of the 
original seven (of 1784), were made by the several 
districts, between 1802 and 18 10. The town voted to 
number the districts eighteen years after the first com- 
mittee was chosen. In 1814, "chose Rev. David Palmer, 
in No. I, Samuel Stone, Jr., in No. 2, Peter Manning, in 
No. 3, Abraham Seaver, in No. 4, Josiah Richardson, Jr., 
in No. 5, Aaron Warren, in No. 6, John Scales, in No. 7, 
Walter Hastings, in No. 8, Samuel Walker, in No. 9, 
Nathaniel Cummings, in No. 10, a committee of inspect- 
ing, to inspect the several schools in this town, and each 
district to choose a clerk, and the clerks to notify their 
own district meetings, and set up their own schools, pro- 
vided they do it according to law." 

That the town elected their best men on this com- 
mittee ma}' be inferred from the fact, that it contained the 
town's minister, one lawyer, and three justices of the 
peace. And the town from that time to the present has 
placed men on this committee, who have given their best 
efforts to the cause of the common schools. 

Soon after the baptist meedng-house, at West Town- 
send, was erected, the subject of establishing a young- 
ladies' seminary at that village began to be discussed. 
The idea was suggested b}' Mr. Levi Warren, w^ho was at 
that time the most influential man in that section of Town- 
send. In 1835, between thirty and forty gentlemen, a 
part of whom did not belong to Townsend, contributed 
towards purchasing the land and erecting the building 
known as "the Seminary." No sum was subscribed less 
than twenty-five dollars, which was called a share. Most 
of these subscribers took one share, while others gave 
according to their interest in education and the prosperity 
of the village. The largest contributor was Mr. Levi 


Warren, who subscribed for nineteen shares, Charles 
Warren, fourteen shares, and Isaac Davis, Jacob Sanders, 
and Ralph Warren, six shares each. The building was 
finished in April, 1836, and the institution was inaugu- 
rated under highly favorable circumstances, which more 
than met the expectations of its patrons and founders. 
On petition, the General Court granted the following 
charter : — 

Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty -nine. 

An act to incorporate the Proprietors of the Townsend 
West Village Female Seminary. 

Be it enacted b}' the Senate and House of Represen- 
tatives in General Court assembled and by the authority of 
the same as follows : 

Section i. Levi Warren, Jonathan Richardson, 
Jacob Sanders, and their associates and successors, are 
hereby made a corporation, by the name of the Proprietors 
of the Townsend West Village Female Seminarv, in 
Townsend, in the County of Middlesex, with all the 
Powers and Privileges, and subject to all the duties, re- 
strictions and liabilities set forth in the forty-fourth Chapter 
of the Revised Statutes. 

Section 2. The said corporation may hold real and 
personal estate to the amount of twentv thousand Dollars, 
to be devoted exclusively to purposes of Education. 

House of Representatives, March 12, 1839. 

Passed to be enacted. 

Robert C. Winthrop, Speaker. 

In the Senate, March 13, 1839. 

Passed to be enacted. 

Myron Lawrence. President. 

March 13th, 1839, approved, Edward Everett. 


The lady who was principal when the seminary com- 
menced its existence, remained in office only about a year, 
when she married and left town. Another principal suc- 
ceeded her till the fall term of 1839, when the trustees 
engaged the services of Miss Ruth S. Robinson, a person 
of excellent judgment and ample scholastic attainments. 

Associated with this principal were six teachers of 
experience in the natural sciences, mathematics, the 
French, German and Latin languages, intellectual and 
moral philosoph}-, the ornamental branches and music. 
This board of instruction was selected with much care by 
a board of Trustees from different New England states. 
The Seminary was under the auspices of the baptist 
denomination, but it enjoyed the confidence and patronage 
of all sects and creeds. The baptists of the eastern states 
and some from New York sent their daughters to West 
Townsend for an education at this seminar}^ which for 
more than twenty years was very popular. In almost 
every state in the Union may be found one or more 
teachers, principals of high schools and seminaries, 
besides wives of educated professional men, who remember 
the pleasant days of their youth, passed at this, their 
Alma Mater. 

In 1844, a more lucrative and responsible position 
was offered to Miss Robinson, when she resigned her 
office. Two other ladies had charge of the seminary, 
each in turn, till 1846, when Miss Hannah P. Dodge was 
selected as principal. Miss Dodge is a native of Littleton, 
and was graduated at this seminary in 1843. This lady 
remained at the head of this institution till November, 
1853, when, at her solicitation on account of ill-health, she 
was dismissed. During a larger part of the time since 


lier connection with the seminary was dissolved, she has 
been a practical educator. 

The building was commodious and well arranged, its 
rooms richly furnished, and carpeted in a tasteful manner. 

The Lesbian Society, for literary exercises and im- 
provement among the young ladies of the seminar}-, was 
a perfect success. 

Belonging to the institution was a very judiciously 
selected library, a large part of which was presented 
by Messrs. Levi and Charles Warren, and their baptist 
friends in Boston. 

In every particular, it had no peer in America, except, 
perhaps. Miss Willard's Female Seminary, at Troy, New 
York. But after a successful existence of about twenty- 
live years, — after it had shone brightly among the con- 
stellations of the literary galaxy of its time, — in an evil 
hour, it finally sunk, never to rise again from beneath the 
horizon of financial mismanagement, which enshrouded 
its exit. Thus this civilizing influence, which to a great 
extent built up the west village, which gave a fresh 
impetus to our public schools, and made Townsend an 
objective point as a seat of learning and refinement, was 
irretrievably lost. 

Among the names of the Trustees, at different times, 
are Hon. Isaac Davis, Worcester, Massachusetts, Wil- 
liam H. Shaler, D. D., Portland, Maine, Dea. George 
Cummings, Lancaster, Massachusetts, Dea. Simon G. 
Shipley, Boston, Massachusetts, Henry Marchant, Esq., 
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and S. T. Cutting, Esq., New 
York City. 

The seminary building passed into the hands of the 
party which held the security on the property, and from 


1863 to 1870, it was used as a dwelling-house. In conse- 
quence of the act of the legislature abolishing the district 
system in 1869, the town in 1870 altered the number and 
location of the school-houses and bought the seminary 
building and renovated it for graded schools. 

After the seminary had been in successful operation 
tor four or five years, the congregationalists and others at 
the centre of the town, observing the good influences 
eminating from that institution, and that the baptist church 
was much better filled than at previous times, took the 
idea of an academy at Townsend Centre into serious con- 
sideration. First and foremost in this enterprise, was the 
Rev. Mr. Stowell, the orthodox minister. Accordingly at 
a proper time, a meeting of the people of the town, and 
of the members of the congregational church and society 
in particular, a sufficient sum of money in addition to the 
quantity of lumber and materials given by others inter- 
ested, was subscribed to erect a suitable building. Capt. 
Elnathan Davis gave the timber for the frame, delivered 
on the ground where it was erected. The traders at the 
centre gave the nails, lime and hardware, so that the 
academy was built by a mutual effort by which no one 
felt the least impoverished. It was finished in the summer 
of 1841, and opened the following September with a 
respectable number of students. It stood on the north side 
of Main Street, nearly opposite the bank, on a part of 
what is now the stable yard of Walter Fessenden, Esq. It 
was not so expensive a structure as the seminary, but was 
a substantial, well-arranged, two-story building, with a 
tower and bell surmounting it. For five or six consecutive 
years this academy received a good share of patronage, 
and during the autumn months a large number of scholars 
gathered within its walls. 


Mr. Noadiah Dickinson was the first preceptor of this 
academy. He graduated at Amherst college, was a good 
scholar, with easy, gentlemanly manners, calculated to 
keep all his friends and gain as many more as he desired. 
While Mr. Stowell remained in town he took much interest 
in this school, and he assisted Mr. Dickinson, when the 
services of an additional teacher were required, in a man- 
ner very acceptable to the students. 

Jonathan C. Shattuck, of Dartmouth College, 1842, 
had charge of this academy, for some time. 

The difficulty of supporting two institutions of similar 
character, like the seminary and the academy, in so small 
a town as Townsend soon became apparent. After Mr. 
Stowell and Mr. Dickinson left town, the interest in the 
academy began to flag, until finally, in 185 1, the old 
district school-house, situated at the northeast corner of 
the common, where the blacksmith shop now stands, was 
much too small for the accommodation of the scholars, 
and District No. i bought this academy building, and 
moved it to a spot on the north side of the road, almost 
due north of, and opposite to, the methodist chapel. It 
was used for a public school-house till January 5, 1870, 
when it was burned, as is supposed, by an incendiary. 
There have been four other school-houses burned in this 
town, two in what was called the Potunck District (No. 8) , 
and two in the Harbor District. About 1830, a school- 
house was burned, which stood about one-fourth of a mile 
southerly from the bridge over the river at the Harbor, in 
" the angle of land made by the divergence of the Shirley 
and "South Row"' roads; and in 1871 another school- 
house situated on the west side of the Shirley road, 
nearer the Harbor, was destroyed by fire by the careless 
deposit of ashes. 


Since the SUite Board of Education was established, 
the town has kept pace with the general progress of 
education throughout the Commonwealth. The reports of 
the several school committees, on file with the town 
records, particularly since the existence of the law re- 
quiring that they should be printed, are drawn with great 
care, and contain many valuable suggestions. 

It might afford pleasure to some readers to see the 
names of the persons, who, since the days of Horace 
Mann, the efficient secretary of the Board of Education, 
have served on the school committee in Townsend, but the 
simple statement of the fact, that, since that time the voters 
of this town have selected their best men on this com- 
mittee, will be considered sufficient.* Within the last 
decade the public schools have been very prosperous. 

Thaddeus Spaulding, was the first public school 
teacher in this town, known to the writer. He taught the 
North school many terms, commencing 1785, in the 
school-house described in this chapter, at present a 
cooper shop. Miss Rebecca Warren taught in the south 
part of the town previous to 1800. She taught a long time 
and died at an advanced age, unmarried. Joel Adams 
was a teacher here more than seventy-five 3^ears ago. 

In 1808, Seth Davis, Esq., a native of Townsend, at 
present an active old gentleman, resident of West Newton, 
taught school here. A few years later Miss Mary Palmer, 
Miss Betsey Pratt, Miss Polly Giles, and Miss Mary 
Adams (now Mrs. Bertram) , were some of the Townsend 
school teachers. Contemporaneous with the last named 
individuals, the male teachers were Daniel Conant, Joel 

*In 183(i. the (■(.nimiffce roiisisli'il nl- Rov. David PalnuT. Kcv. Coliiinhus Slnini 
•, Rev. .laiiu's l',ani:il)y. Dr. , John lU-rtrain. and Samuel Adams. 


Giles, John K. Palmer, and Samuel Adams, all Townsend 
boys once, and successful instructors. 

Hon. Seth Davis (whose autograph and likeness, in 
this book, were made after he was ninety years of age) , 
was the son of Timothy Davis, who was the son of 
Timothy Davis, who was a blacksmith, a wrought nail 
maker in particular, and one of the early settlers of this 
town. He sold "two house lots numbering twenty-live 
and twenty-six," for £650, to Daniel Adams, Jr., of 
Concord, (now Lincoln). These lots included all the 
land on the west side of the road, leading from the present 
dwelling-house of Elisha D. Barber, to Brookline, com- 
mencing at Darius O. Evans' northeast corner : thence 
westerly by his north line as far as a point in line of the 
east line of "the six rod way;" thence southerly by that 
line to the end of "the. six rod way;" thence easterly on 
the road by the school-house, and northerU' by the road to 
the place of beginning, including both the farms of Mr. 
Barber and Mr. Evans, and all the land between the west 
end of Mr. Barber's farm and the six rod way. The deed 
"Timothy Davis to Daniel Adams, Jr.," dated November 
3, 1742, "in the sixteenth 3'ear of His Majestv's reign 
George the Second," is still in existence, the signatures to 
which are well executed, except that of Hannah Davis, 
the wife of Timoth}- , who commenced her name with a 
small //, having however the example of the justice of the 
peace, who made the draft of the deed, who fell into the 
same error. 

Timothy, the grandfather of Seth Davis, died in this 
town, in 1800, aged about ninety years. Timothy Davis, 
father of Seth Davis and son of the nail maker, resided part 
of the time in Ashby, and part of the time in Townsend. 


He was a revolutionary soldier, and a poor man. Seth 
Davis was born in Ashby, in 1787, and his busy life of 
more than ninety years, presents one of the best examples 
of a strictly self-made man. It had never entered his 
mind that words represented thoughts until he was nearly 
nine years of age, when he was presented with a copy of 
Robinson Crusoe, which, by dint of perseverance, he read 
and understood, giving him a keen relish for reading, and 
a thirst for knowledge. He passed less than two years of 
his life in the school-room, as a scholar. He acquired his 
education while he was teaching school, and during the 
many leisure hours, while others of his youthful acquaint- 
ances were after pleasure, in the sports and gayeties 
attractive to that period of lile. His first school was at 
Mason, New Hampshire. In 1808, he taught the winter 
school in Townsend, in the school-house which stood in 
the corner of the Battery road, opposite the gate entrance 
to Ash Swamp. Mr. Benjamin Barrett, now eighty-five 
years old, attended the school taught by Mr. Davis at that 
time. In 1809, he taught the winter school in the 
Battery school-house (now a dwelling), made of brick, 
on the opposite side of the road and some further 
east than the old house. During the three succeeding 
winters he taught at Newton, in this state, where he had 
formed an acquaintance, and where he finally settled and 
made himself a home and "troops of friends." For many 
years he was principal of an academy at that place. He 
prepared a primary arithmetic, two or three thousand 
copies being printed and used in that vicinity. He made 
an orrery to explain the motions of the heavenly bodies, 
probably the first one used in this Commonwealth, and 
introduced some valuable improvements in the methods of 


instruction. His whole teaching was attended with much 
common sense and wisdom, all his record and examples 
being worthy of the highest commendation. About 1840, 
having acquired considerable real estate in the flourishing 
town of his adoption, he gave up teaching and attended to 
his property, to business, and rural affairs. 

From 1840 to 1844, he was one of the county com- 
missioners, and during these three years he made all the 
surveys which the duties of the board required. He is 
fond of flowers, gardens, lawns, and all that is beautiful in 
nature. More than three-fourths of all the trees now 
growing in West Newton, including the stately elms and 
clean sugar-maples, which make its streets delightful, as 
well as the fruit trees, were set out by his hands, during 
every year of his life from 1811 to the present time. His 
untiring labors, with his head and his hands, through a 
long life, have been crowned with a success to a degree 
that must be exceedingly gratifying to a man of his 
generous and honorable purposes. 

He was married October 27, 1810, to Mary Durell. 
She died June 16, 1867. On the first of July, 1868, he 
married Mary J. Glidden, his present wife. His children 
were, Mary W., born November 27, 1813, died November 
12, 1842, and Harris L., born Februar}- 24, 1829, died 
March 12, 1853. 

His ninetieth birthday, the third day of September 
1877, was observed in a special manner, at his house in 
West Newton. His former pupils, together with his 
numerous friends, responded enthusiastically to the call, 
that suitable honors should be shown to their old master 
and fellow-citizen. On that occasion were speeches, 


music and poems, all of an enjoyable, cheering and 
elevating character. 

"The friends who knew hun in his youth. 

The tried, the true, the brave. 
Have passed from earth, like viewless winds. 

Where rustling harvests wave; 
The aims his young ambition craved 

His riper age has won; 
Tiie dews of morn, in crimson glow 

Pillow his setting sun. 

"Tiie boys he taught in other days 

Are boys no longer now. 
Time lovingly has begged their locks. 

And silver streaks their brow ; 
Still, as 'mid ruined arch and fane 

In old, historic lands. 
Some shaft, intact, its head uprears.— 

Tiiis grand old pillar stands." 



First Mill in Town at the Harbor, 1733— •■Hubbard'.s Mill" at West 
Townseud — Hezekiah Richardson's Mill and tlie Variet}- of Bnsl- 
ness at that Place— James Giles' Mill— Eben Butler's Mill- 
Daniel Giles' Mill, afteiwards Owned by Adams & Powers — 
Steam Mill of Giles & Larkin — Steam Mill of Walter Fessen- 
den & Son— Sketch of Walter Fessenden — The Work done by 
these Mills — Morocco Factory of Abram S. French — Sketch of 
Abram S. French— Clothiers and Wool Carders — Hezekiah Eich- 
ardson and his Sons — Samuel Whitney, the Inventor of the 
Planer — Peter Manning, the Saddler — Townsend Harbor in 17tl(l 
— The Tanning Business Carried on by Several Parties — Hats 
Made of Fur, and Palm Leaf Hats— Foundry at the Harbor- 
Statistics of the Manufactures of Townsend. for 1875. taken 
from the Decennial Census. 

The lirst mill in Townsend, was built at the Harbor, 
by John Stevens and John Patt, by mutual agreement in 
writing, each binding himself, his heirs and executors, 
to the other, his heirs and executors, "to furnish one- 
half of the labor, timber, stone and iron, necessary for 
the erection of said mill for sawing boards;" and "to 
keep the same in repair for twenty years.'' This written 
agreement, drawn in a neat, bold hand, worded in a 
scholarly manner, and legally binding on both parties, is 
now in the possession of the Ball family, which was con- 
nected by marriage with the Stevens family. The signa- 
tures of these men, and of two witnesses to the instrument. 


would be particularly noticeable in a collection of auto- 
graphs. John Patt owned the land on the north side ot^ 
the river, and John Stevens on the south side where the 
mill was built. This agreement was executed in January, 
1733, and the mill was built and completed before the 
thirtieth of November following. A dam, suitable in 
height, was thrown across the river at or near where the 
stone dam now stands, which stopped the water much 
further up the river than was agreeable to the engineering 
of these two men. A meeting of the proprietors was 
called in August of that year, when it was voted to allow 
Ephraim Sawtell an "equivalent for such land as may be 
flowed by the raising of the dam." 

The mill was located a few rods westerly of the place 
where the leather-board factory now stands. A grist-mill 
was soon after put in this building. This mill was sold by 
the builders a few years after its erection, including the 
privilege and a certain amount of land, to John Conant, 
who was the owner and occupant lor a long time. The 
large two-story house, now standing near the south end of 
the dam, was built by this John Conant, away back in the 
provincial times, when all legal documents specifled the 
year of "His Majesty's Reign." This house was a tavern 
tor manv years. Con ant's mill had no competitor in Town- 
send, till about 1768, when a dam was made and a mill 
erected on the south side of the Squanicook, at West 
Townsend, near the west side of the stone bridge. The 
name of the man who built the mill is unknown to the 
writer, but about 1775, William Hobart was the proprietor. 
This mill was known in its day as "Hubbard's mill," and 
it was burned about 1790. The privilege remained un- 
occupied till 1798, when Hezekiah Richardson bought the 


property, and the canal leading easterly from the stone 
bridge was made, which remains in use to the present 
day. The labor in excavating this canal was most all 
done gratuitously, by the farmers and others, in consider- 
ation of better saw and grist-mill accommodations. Mr. 
Richardson made a mill nearly on the same site where a 
mill now stands. The water at this mill has been utilized 
for more different kinds of business than at any other place 
in this tow'n. Here has been a saw and grist-mill, a wool 
carding mill, a cotton yarn factory, a stocking factory, a 
machine shop, and a leather-board mill, the last being the 
present business. 

James Giles had a small mill, where the kit mill of 
A. M. Adams now stands, as early as 1787 ; and about 
the same time Major Samuel Stone, of Ashb}', built a mill 
on Willards stream, in the fork of the two roads leading 
to Ashby. Afterwards this mill was owned by Eben 
Butler, of whom, in 1819, Benjamin Barrett and son 
bought this property. They demolished the old mill, 
made a stone dam, and the second mill at this place. 
Quite recently a mill, three stories in height, and rather 
capacious, was built here ; and in 1871, another stone dam, 
further up the stream, was made for reservoir purposes, bv 
which the privilege was much enhanced in value. This 
mill is now used for the manufacture of coopers' stock, 
and owned by Lewis Sanders, who built it. 

In 181 7, Daniel Giles erected a mill on the spot now 
occupied at the Centre for a grain elevator. This mill has 
not passed through many hands, although it has been 
enlarged and greatly improved. Adams & Powers were 
the next owners, and at present, Alfred M. Adams, a son 
of the senior partner of the above firm, is the proprietor. 


For the last half of a century, this saw and grist-mill, in 
connection with the coopering business, and on account of 
its central location in relation to a market for flour and 
meal, has done the most business of any mill in this town. 
Soon after Daniel Giles disposed of this mill, he built a 
steam mill on the west side of the Brookline road, about 
half a mile northerly of the common, where a new build- 
ing erected for a mill now stands. This mill w^as not long 
in operation before it was burned, and he lost heavily by 
the fire. The citizens of the town, and his friends, with 
much sympathy for the loser, contributed liberally to his 
relief, so that with the money, he purchased a shell of a 
mill at Sharon, New Hampshire, and removed it on to the 
same spot where his mill was burned. This building was 
converted into a steam mill for the purpose of making 
coopering stock, and was run by the firm of Giles & 
Larkin, until the death of Mr. Giles, in 1858, when Mr. 
Edwin A. Larkin bought the property and continued the 
coopering business. Through the carelessness of an 
engineer, or the wickedness of one of his enemies who 
intended to destroy his reputation, or perhaps his life, the 
boiler burst in this mill, in May, 1862, killing three men, 
and tearing out one side of the mill, besides doing con- 
siderable other damage. This mill was taken down, 1874, 
and the present structure on its site, put in its place. 

In 1867, a large two-story and basement factory for 
manufacturing coopers' stock of all kinds, operated by 
steam, was built at the centre of the town by Walter 
Fessenden & Son. This mill gave employment to about 
thirty workmen. The building, motive power, machinery, 
and everv facility for the manufacture of this stock, was 
first class. Except the usual vacation of fcnir or five 

^ ^#'' 

^ZM^ ^y/^^^-^^c^cy^;yH 


weeks, it was kept running during the year. In August, 
1874, ^^^^ "''^^^ ^^^ burned, the fire being undoubtedly the 
work of an incendiary. This large structure was, at that 
time, full of combustible goods, made from pine lumber. 
There was no wind ; the evening was dark during the fire 
which raged furiously ; when the roof fell in, a gleaming 
and hissing sheet of flame shot upward to the sky, which 
was visible for a long distance around. Had the fire 
happened when the wind blew, or any time except when 
the mill yard and surrounding roofs were wet, the central 
village would have been reduced to ashes. The factory 
now standing on the same site, altered slightly in its 
architectural proportions from the model of the mill that 
was burned, was finished and commenced running, 
February 4, 1875. 

Hon. Walter Fessenden was born September 20, 1813. 
He obtained his education at the people's college — the 
common school — where a great majority of our prominent 
business men take their "degrees" of good sense and self- 
reliance. A certain prominent educator was once asked 
what studies should be taken by boys. Said he, "Teach 
them that which they will practice when they become 
men." Mr. Fessenden received just that kind of an 
education. He lived more than two miles from the school- 
house, during his boyhood, while the school terms were 
much shorter than at present, so that his educational 
advantages were rather limited. During his minority he 
learned the coopers' trade, a vocation which he plied with 
success, having large vitality and muscular strength. Up 
to 1845, he just made the two pages of the ledger balance, 
though occasionally it was up grade with him. The 



impetus given to business by the California excitement in 
1849. and other causes operating in his favor, established 
him in the coopering business so that he began to employ 
quite a number of men in that branch of industry. 

"•There is a tide in the aftairs of men. which. 
Taken at the ttood leads on to fortune." 

The number of his operatives, and the amount of his 
trade, began to increase, so that he soon did a heavy 
business, shipping his goods to California, Nova Scotia, 
Newfoundland, and even to the Sandwich Islands, be- 
sides supplying his share \o the usual trade of the cities 
on the coast. In 1859, ^^^^ ^"^^ ^^ Walter Fessenden & 
Son was formed, since which time Albert L. Fessenden 
has been the junior partner. This is the leading manu- 
facturing firm in this town ; and up to 1875, fi'om sixt}^ to 
eighty men have been in its employment as laborers, 
woodsmen, teamsters, millers, and coopers, who have 
converted many thousand cords of pine lumber into goods 
which have tbund a read}- market. Walter Fessenden 
was one of the most influential men in securing from the 
Legislature a charter for the Townsend Bank. This in- 
stitution has been under his charge, as president, for more 
than twenty 3'ears, during which time it has paid good 
dividends and added a surplus of about forty per cent, to 
its capital stock. In 1865, it became a National Bank, in 
conformity to the United States laws. In 1856, he w'as a 
member of the National Democratic Convention at Cin- 
cinnati, when Mr. Buchanan was nominated; and again, 
in i860, he was chosen a delegate to the National Demo- 
cratic Convention which assembled at Charleston, South 


Carolina, where he was an unfaltering Douglas man. In 
1861, he was chosen a member of the Massachusetts 
Senate. He is fond of travel having been two or three 
times to the Pacific slope, and, during the summer and fall 
of 1874, he made the tour of Europe, in company with 
a part of his family. He married Harriet E. Lewis, 
February 6, 1838. 

It appears unnecessary to pursue the description of 
the Townsend lumber mills any further, although many 
have had their "exits and entrances" since the town was 
settled. The coopering business, for the last fifty years, 
has kept these establishments hard at work during a large 
part of the year. The timber is converted into barrels, 
shooks, kegs, kits, tubs, and pails, which, after shipment 
to the various cities of the United States, are filled with 
fruit, fish, syrup, spices, edibles of different kinds, 
chemicals, various manufactures and products, from 
whence they go on the wings of commerce to every market 
known to the enterprising American merchant. 

In 1833, Abram S. French built a morocco factorv, 
on the brook running northeasterly from Bayberr\- hill, 
near its junction with the river, and near where James 
Giles built his saw-mill, described in this chapter. He 
erected a dam on this brook, which afforded sufiicient 
water to operate a fulling-mill during the largest part of 
the 3'ear. This establishment was in successful operation 
till 1853, employing constantly ten or twelve workmen: 
and from the fact of a continuation of twent}' years in the 
trade, the presumption is that the business was a source of 
wealth to the proprietor. 


Abram S. French was born in Boston, in 1809. His 
mother was a daughter of Isaac Kidder, of Townsend, 
where he has resided most of the time during his life. 
He made one or two voyages to the West Indies, as a 
cabin boy, but not being captivated with a maritime life, 
he was sent to New^ Ipswich, New Hampshire, where he 
acquired a good academical education. Preferring to enter 
business rather than pursue a course of study for a pro- 
tession, and having a taste for rural pursuits, he carried 
on a farm for a few years. After closing up his morocco 
dressing business, before mentioned, he stocked a tannery 
at Lockport, New York, and carried on business success- 
fully at that place with a partner to whom he sold his 
interest in the trade. He then went to Wellsville, New 
York, and built a large tannery, and pursued that branch 
of industry for several years very profitably to himself, 
leaving it most of the time in charge of a reliable and 
competent superintendent. Partially losing his health, 
and seeing a good chance to sell, in 1864, he disposed of 
this factory and its stock in trade, and retired from 
business. The prices of everything being inflated b}- the 
paper currency caused by the war, leather was worth 
more than double when he sold compared with its cost 
when he built the factory. He married Lois P. Richard- 
son, in 1831, and although they have always had an 
abundance of wealth and friends, they have been severely 
bereaved by the loss of four of their six children ; a son in 
the rebellion, two daughters, each about twenty years of 
age, and a daughter in childhood. Mr. French has 
always been fond of books, which during the days of bad 
health have been a source of much pleasure to him. He 
has a retentive memory — is well posted in history, and 




possesses a large amount of miscellaneous information. 
During the holidays he may be seen dispensing his gifts 
among his friends, and particularly to those who are in 
need of assistance. In 1861 and 1862, he was the repre- 
sentative in the Legislature, for Townsend and Ashby. 

Nathan Carlton was a clothier, at the Harbor, as early 
as 1790, and the mill where he obtained his power stood 
where Spaulding's planing mill is now situated. He was 
in business for considerable time and his house stood on or 
near the spot where Abel Eaton's house was recently 
burned. Silas Lawrence followed him in the same trade 
and at the same place. In 182 1, Paul Gerrish took 
possession of the property which he enlarged and im- 
proved. He put in a wool carding machine, a spinning 
jenny, and a loom, or looms, and engaged in the manu- 
facture of woolen goods, with good success. This gentle- 
man was one of the most prominent citizens of the town. 
He was a justice of the peace, and one of the selectmen 
quite a number of years. In 1832, he represented Town- 
send in the Legislature. An accurate town officer and an 
exemplary man. He continued in this branch of industr^■ 
more than twenty years. 

About 1807, Jonathan Richardson came into the 
possession and ownership of the saw and grist-mill erected 
by Hezekiah Richardson & Sons, which stood a few rods 
easterly of the present leather-board factory. Connected 
with this building was an ell, or wing, which contained the 
first wool carding machine ever in operation in this town. 
Previous to this time, most of the wool produced in town 
was carded at the mills in Pepperell or Groton ; the rolls 
of wool were then returned to the farmers' wives who 
spun it with Richardson's "patent head," and wove it into 


cloth, which was put into the hands of the clothier for 
coloring and dressing. Capt. Josiah G. Heald was the 
owner of this machine. He was a clothier, and he 
continued in that trade and wool carding more than a 
quarter of a century. He had the confidence of the people, 
gave strict attention to his business, and was much 

Hezekiah Richardson, (born in Townsend, 1741.) 
and his sons Zaccheus, Hezekiah, and Levi, were 
ingenious mechanics. A part of their business was 
chairmaking, and the manufacture of spinning-wheels, 
both for wool and flax. The house in which Hezekiah, 
senior, lived, is now standing about a third of a mile 
northwest from the "turnpike bridge," on the premises, 
triangular in shape, surrounded on its three sides by public 
highways. It was built about 1746, has always been 
occupied by a family, and remains to this day a com- 
fortable dwelling-house. These three sons were born in 
this house, between 1770 and 1776. 

Levi constructed a wool spinning-wheel with an extra 
gear, which was patented. It was a favorite with the 
women, and was known among them as "the patent head.'" 
He was also the inventor of a set of sliding blocks, which, 
after a log was put upon the saw carriage and the saw put 
in motion, would set for each board till the whole log was 
sawed. Through the influence of General Varnum, of 
Dracut, a member of Congress from this district at that 
time, he obtained a patent on this invention. 

Soon after the close of the revolution, the Warrens, 
and others, were engaged in the manufacture of potash, 
and this business was followed in a profitable manner till 
about 1820, when wood became more ^•aluable. 


Previous to the commencement of the present century, 
the principal branch of industry of .the town, from which 
was derived the greatest amount of money, was the manu- 
facture of beef, pork, and rum barrels. These casks were 
drawn to market, at Boston, by ox teams, usually about 
four days being spent in making the journey. 

Within the last fifty years most of the families in this 
town manufactured woolen goods for their own clothing. 
A tailoress would be in attendance with these families, 
once a year, and make these woolens into clothing for 
its members. So with regard to boots and shoes. The 
farmers sent their hides, marked so as to be recognized, to 
the tanners, where they were made into leather. A boot 
and shoemaker would go around to each house and make 
those goods, sufficient for a years stock, for the family. 

Samuel Whitney, of this town, was the inventor of 
what is known as the Woodworth planer. He spent 
considerable time and money on this machine. He had a 
model made by a competent machinist, which did the 
work admirabh', and he intended to secure a patent on the 
same, but while he delayed in attending to that business, 
and dreaming about the fortune he hoped to make by it, a 
dishonest man stealthily invaded the premises in which the 
model was stored, took drawings and admeasurements of 
it, from which another model was made and sent to 
Washington, and a patent was taken out in another man's 
name. By this bold and villainous theft, Mr. Whitnev 
was defrauded out of the benefit of his ingenious and 
useful invention. 

In the days of equestrianism, practiced by both sexes, 
when pleasure wagons were unknown, a saddler was 
almost as indispensable in every town as a minister. 


In 1787, Peter Manning was engaged in this trade at 
the Harbor. His house and shop, all in one building, 
stood where Charles Emery now resides. He is repre- 
sented as a very polite gentleman, a skilful mechanic, and 
a good singer ; but he rebelled against the practice of al- 
ternate reading and singing the lines of the hymn, which 
was the custom in public service on the sabbath. Through 
his influence, that fashion was laid aside. 

At that time, Townsend Harbor was the only col- 
lection of houses in town which could be called a village. 
It contained a tavern, the large, old house (now standing) , 
at or near the south end of the dam at the river, kept by 
John Conant, a very popular landlord ; a saw and grist- 
mill, a blacksmith shop, a clothier (1790), a tanner, a 
trader, (Life Baldwin, in 1788,) who occupied the build- 
ing for a store, which is painted red and stands on the 
north side of the road, nearly opposite to Jonas Spaulding's 
counting-room. This was the first store in Townsend, 
and its proprietor at that time, Mr. Baldwin, was a man of 
good influence. He was town clerk and one of the select- 
men of this town for several years. 

About the commencement of the present century, 
there was quite a heavy growth of pitch-pine where the 
central village now stands, the nearest houses to which 
were the red house, now standing on the north side of the 
road, just south of the Walker pond, so called, and two or 
three small dwellings situated at the westward of the old 
burying ground, or in that vicinity. 

At the west village, that now is, the hotel now stand- 
ing and two or three houses, constituted all the buildings 
of that locality. The borders of the town, at that time, 
probablv contained as many inhabitants as at the present 


In 1789, Capt. Timothy Fessenden was engaged in 
the tanning business on land now owned by Harriet Read, 
near the north end of the dam over the Squanicook, at the 
Harbor. John and Samuel Billings, of Lunenburg, were 
interested in this property, but whether as part owners, 
mortgagees, or otherwise, is unknown. John Jewett fol- 
lowed Fessenden in this business, till about 1808, when 
Oliver Read bought the place and worked at the same 
trade till about 1827. 

Soon after 1800, Benjamin Pierce started a tannerv 
near the first little brook crossing the road leading from 
the depot, at West Townsend, to the post office in that 
village. It stood on the north side of the road. Several 
proprietors followed him in the business, among whom 
were George Hartwell, Levi Stearns (about 1825), and 
iVlexander Lewis (about 1828). 

The amount of business done in these establishments 
varied from one to two thousand dollars per annum. In 
1827, Curtis Stevens bought the mill, supplied bv water 
from "Willards stream," in the fork of the Ashbv roads 
(where Lewis Sanders' mill now^ stands), — built tan vats 
on the north side of the mill and udlized the water power 
to grind bark and for other purposes in the tanning busi- 
ness, w^hich he pursued till about 1835. 

John Orr, in 1854, erected quite a large two-story and 
attic building near the railroad track at West Townsend 
Depot for a tannery, which was operated by steam power. 
He employed five or six workmen in the business till 1858, 
when the property went into the hands of a firm under the 
name of Freeman & Avery. These men increased the 
business, constantly employing fifteen or twenty operatives. 
They shipped a large amount of their goods into the 


market, but they were not tirst-class tinanciers, and did 
not meet with the success which they anticipated. 

In 1864, this estabhshment was bought by George 
Taft, who retained the foreman, and some of the workmen 
under the firm which preceded him, and he went on with 
the business. The building and finished stock contained 
in it were burned in 1868, but in due time Mr. Taft built 
another structure, of about the same dimensions and on 
the same site, which remained about three years, when 
that also was burned. Since that time the ruins of this 
factory have remained undisturbed. Within the last 
quarter of a century this branch of industry in Massachu- 
setts has been concentrated into a tew places, like Woburn, 
and other populous towns, containing heavy capitalists, 
with whom competition is next to impossible. 

Soon after the old meeting-house was moved on to the 
common (1804), a blacksmith, a tinsmith, and a hatter, 
set up their several trades, near each other, just west of 
the Goss bridge, at the centre of the town. 

Eben Wilder, the hatter, lived on the spot now owned 
and occupied by Americus Lawrence. His hats were 
"felt" throughout the town, and none of them, while in 
his possession ever contained a "brick" inside, tor he was 
"brim" full of temperance and moderation. Had he lived 
till 1832, he might have seen the dexteritv witii which the 
farmers' wives and daughters turned out the palm-leaf 
hats with their nimble fingers. At that time more than 
three-fourths of the families in this town contained one or 
more persons, sometimes three or four, who braided palm- 
leaf hats nearly all the time. 

David P. Livermore, a trader at the Harbor, intro- 
duced this branch of industrv into this town. The women 


and children braided these hats, and took their wages in 
goods from his store. 

Mr. John Snow was the first trader at the centre of 
the town, who furnished leaf to be manufactured into hats. 
The other storekeepers soon followed, and this enterprise 
furnished employment for many people in Townsend, and 
the two northern towns in New Hampshire which join it, 
who had scarcely any other method of earning any money. 
From 1855 to i860, while Mr. Daniel Adams was in trade 
at the centre of the town, the entire business in this line 
passed through his hands. He sold yearly, from twelve 
to fifteen thousand dozen of palm-leaf hats, a large portion 
of which went to the southern states, and were worn by 
those people who at one time in our national histor}' were 
known as "intelligent contrabands," but more recently 
have been the principal stock in trade of a victorious and 
enthusiastic political party. 

About 1830, Beriah Blood and Reuben Farrar came 
from Concord to the Harbor, and bought the Conant mill. 
Soon after, they moved a large barn, standing near by on 
the south side of the river, and set it up in their mill yard, 
near the side of the road, and converted it into a Ibundry. 
Quite a sum of money was invested in the building and 
stock. Albert S. Page commenced the business, which 
afterwards was in the possession of several different men 
and different firms. At one time, the establishment turned 
out a large quantity of goods. The Wards, two brothers, 
there for a while, were experienced workmen, and gave 
character to their goods in that branch of industry. There 
always appeared to be a lack of capital in the hands of 
the owners of this foundry, to prosecute the business in a 
successful manner. About 1852, it was burned while the 


Woods brothers, (the raih-oad contractors,) were the 

The foregoing synopsis of the different businesses and 
enterprises, which have engaged the attention of the 
Townsend people, has been prepared with all the care 
and attention that could be given to the subject. A large 
part of the manufactures and trades, described here 
partially, were begun and ended before any considerable 
portion of the present inhabitants were born. Only a few 
venerable forms, which bear "the human face divine," 
have come down to us through the generations, which 
were the least cognizant to the various interests, which, in 
the days of yore, were so important. "Heaven has so 
bountiously lengthened out the days" of Miss Mary Palmer, 
Miss Hannah Seaver, Mr. Samuel Searl, Mr. Benjamin 
Barrett, Mr. Seth Davis, and a few others, that certain 
interesting facts have been drawn from the repositories in 
their remembrance, which have been of great assistance 
to the writer. 

It is remarkable how soon a few years will sweep into 
oblivion the dates of events which once were of thrilling 
interest to the whole community. A friend when laid in 
the ground has the time of his departure indented on the 
faithful marble that perpetuates his memory, but no monu- 
ment is ever erected on the spot, once cheered by the 
hum of happy industry, where a mill has rotted down, or 
been swept away by fire or flood ; neither is there any 
record of the event, and, generally, unless the searcher 
after the date can obtain an interview Avith some intelligent 
mother who recollects that "it was the same year that my 
Mary was born," he can scarcely ever with certainty hx the 
date. It has been considered in good taste, inasmuch as 
this is the centenarv of our nationalitv, to insert here, the 



statistics of the manufactures and occupations of the town, 
as brought out by the Massachusetts decennial census of 
1875. This statistical table will supersede the necessity of 
a single word further on the manufacturing interests of 
the town : — 

Massachusetts Census of 1875. 





of Goods 


Barrels, Half Barrels and Kegs, 











6 000 

Clothing Men's Custom-made, 

Hats, Palm-leaf, 







LuMiiFR Shingles Laths etc.. 

Meal, Corn, Rye and Wheat, 







Harness and Saddle Repairing, 




Occupations, (work done,) 





Half fish barrels, 68,077 ^^'Y ^^^^^ ^^id flour 

Fish kegs, 105,974 barrels, 3^250 

Dry half barrels, 9^55^ Nail and mustard 

Nail kegs, 4,786 kegs, I?ii3 


Fish kits, 306,000 Emery kegs and 

Kegs, 191,000 barrels, 400 

Half flour barrels, 1^390 Quarter fish drums, 2,500 

Barrels, 10,272 Bread boxes, 2,500 

Molasses kegs, 71,028 Tubs, 30,000 

Half barrels, 193,963 Pails, 28,000 

Salt barrels, 200 Butter tubs, 45,000 
Paint kegs, i»i50 

V^alue of stock used (in the town), $249,849 


Lumber, $75,040 Staves, $60,897 

Hoops, 40,659 Heads, 28,723 

Total, $205,319 

Value of buildings used for manufacturing 

purposes, $89,000 

Value of average stock on hand in manufac- 
turing establishments, $87,630 

V^alue of machinery in use, $51,725 


Steam engines, 3 ; nominal horse power, 172 ; actual 292. 
Water wheels, 19 ; nominal horse power, 447. 


In manufactures, males 283 : females 8. 
In occupations, males 21 ; females o. 

Totals, 304. 8. 



Uabkluess of the Politicians Previous to the Rebellion— Stupendous 
Effort of Massachusetts in Suppressing It — War a Terrible Agent 
in Civilization — Call for a Town Meeting. April 20th, 1861 — 
Patriotic Resolves of the Town — Names of the Men who En- 
listed in June. 1861, and were Mustered into the Sixth 
Massachusetts Volunteers — Men of the Twentv-Sixth Massachu- 
setts Regiment— Account of the Thirtj'-Tliird Regiment, and 
the Townsend men in the same — Re-enlistment of the Nine 
Months Men in the Old Sixth Regiment, in August, 1862 — The 
Fifty-Tliird Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers for Nine 
Months— Sketch of Capt. Anson D. Fessenden — Names and 
Terms of Service of Townsend Men in Various Regiments — 
Roll of Townsend Men Belonging to the Twenty-Fourth Massa- 
chusetts Heavy Artillery — Roll of the_ One Hundred Days Men 
who Enlisted July 7. 1864— Patriotism of our Young Men, and 
the Number of them Killed and who Lost their Lives — Aid 
Afforded by the Ladies of Townsend to the Sanitary Com- 

It is hardly necessary for a town historian to 
enumerate and discuss the causes which led to the 
rebellion of i86i, which has engaged the attention of so 
many different writers. An exact and impartial account 
of that gigantic struggle, embracing the incipient causes 
thereof, is not to be found in English literature. 

'•Quos Dens vult perdere, prius dementat.'' 

Those whom God would destroy, he first makes mad. 

That madness ruled the politicians, who assembled at 
our national capital from all parts of the country for 


years, previous to the bombardment of Siimpter, is beyond 
dispute. The words and acts in the halls of Congress, by 
persons calling themselves gentlemen, were akin to bar- 
barism. What man would assault a defenceless gentleman, 
with a bludgeon, for words used in debate, as Brooks did 
his intended victim, unless he was the very personification 
of drivelling insanity ! 

When the news of the election of Abraham Lincoln 
(who did not receive an electoral vote from any of the 
southern states,) reached Boston, Faneuil Hall swarmed 
with exultant men. Among the ill-timed remarks of the 
orators, on that memorable occasion, was that of Henry 
Wilson, who, in speaking of the southern people, used 
these words : "We now have our feet on their necks." 
Certainly these words were not called for, and no sane 
man at that time would have used them, for they were 
calculated to arouse the combativeness, and meet with a 
martial response, when received by the southern people 
over the telegraphic wires. 

The great wrong of firing upon the national flag, and 
plotting treason against the government, must be held in 
everlasting remembrance, to the disgrace of the southern 
leaders in the rebellion : but let no reader suppose that the 
South alone was responsible for this civil feud which 
sundered the ties of consanguinity and drenched the land 
with fraternal blood ; which entailed a monstrous debt on 
the nation, and swept away from their homes and into the 
grave nearly half a million of men. on both sides, who 
have fought their last battle. 


Of eiitniuee to ;i (lUiirrel: Imt. huiiiii' in. 

Bear it tliat the oi)i)os(;'r may l)e\vare' of thee." 


It cannot be said that special attention was paid by 
any state or statesman to the precautionary words here 
quoted, but Massachusetts gave good heed to the last part 
of this compound declarative sentence, by a vigorous and 
unqualified support of the government in its effort to 
preserve the Union by military force. 

According to William Schouler, adjutant-general of 
Massachusetts during the rebellion, in his report to the 
General Court, January i, 1866, this Commonwealth was 
represented in the army and navy, in the different terms 
of service during the war, by one hundred and fifty-nine 
thousand one hundred and fifteen (159,115) men.* 

Massachusetts stood at the end of the war, showing 
that with the exception of twelve small towns, every town 
and city in the state had furnished a surplus over all the 
demands from the war department, which amounted in the 
aggregate to fifteen thousand one hundred and seventy- 
eight (15,178) men, of which the town of Townsend 
furnished thirty-three (33) men. 

As on the 19th of April, 1775, the Middlesex county 
men were the first to yield their lives in the revolution, so 
on the 19th of April, 1861, just eighty-six years afterward, 
men from the same tow^ns, belonging to the Sixth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment, were the first who gave up their lives 
for their country, in the mob fight at Baltimore, on which 
occasion three men were killed and thirty wounded. 

"Men of reflection have become satisfied that a nation, 
like an individual, is by the laws of nature — the laws of 
God, clothed with the right of self-preservation : and 
when its existence is threatened, it is bound by a religious 
obligation to sustain its being at every hazard, and by all 

Afljutant-General's Repoi-t, page 10. 


the fair means that God and nature have put in its power. 
War is to be dreaded, and prevented as far as practicable ; 
but like the amputating knife, is allowable to save the life 
of the body politic. And though war in itself is a great 
calamit}', and leaves many evils in its train, the history of 
the world shows that some of the grandest steps in civiliza- 
tion have grown out of the wars, which at the time were 
regarded as great calamities." 

Apparently nothing but war could have checked the 
lordly pride of those southern masters, who fain would 
have made the chief corner-stone of their confederacy the 
institution of slavery. No people were ever more hu- 
miliated than those conspirators who took the sword, and 
their cause perished by the sword. 

A dismal despondency hangs over the distressed peo- 
ple of the gulf states, the educated portion of whom can 
never adapt themselves to the grade of poverty to which 
they have been levelled by the war. Undoubtedly the time 
will come, after the present generation has passed awa}', 
when commerce will spread her wings over their navigable 
waters — when the hoarse breathing of the steam engine 
will keep time with their various industries — when Educa- 
tion will dispense her favors irrespective of race or com- 
plexion, and the flag, once spurned by their fathers, will 
be a blessed symbol. 

On the twentieth of April, 1861, a warrant was posted 
at the usual places, in Townsend, calling a town meeting 
on the twenty-seventh day of said April, which contained 
the following article : — 

"2. To see if the town will take an}- measures to 
facilitate the enrolment or enlistment of volunteers, whose 


services shall be tendered to the Governor of the Common- 
wealth, or through him to the President of the United 

On this article, voted and chose a committee of five 
citizens to report to the town a plan for its action. Chose 
for said committee, Henry Sceva, Walter Fessenden. 
Daniel L. Brown, Nathaniel F. Cummings, and Samuel 
S. Haynes, who submitted the following preamble and 
resolutions, which were accepted and adopted by a unani- 
mous vote of the town : — 

"Whereas, a portion of the states of this confederacy, 
are now in open rebellion against the Government, and 
whereas, the President of these United States has called 
upon the Loyal States for a Militar}' force sufficient to 
suppress the rebellion and maintain the laws of the land : 

"Now, therefore, we, the citizens of Townsend in town 
meeting assembled, hereby declare our undying love for 
liberty, and our sacred regard for the Constitution as 
transmitted to us by its founders. 

"Resolved, that we tender to the Government our 
sympathy, and if necessity require, our lives and propertv. 

"Resolved, that our foreign born citizens, for the 
promptness with which they have rallied to the support of 
this their adopted country, have laid us, the native born 
citizens, under everlasting obligations, and that our 
gratitude for their support and sympath}' should be appro- 
priately, cheertully, and promptly acknowdedged." 

"Voted, that Walter Fessenden, Daniel S. Brown. 
Nathaniel F. Cummings, James N. Tucker, and Altred 
M. Adams, be a committee to take 'immediate measures 
for the enrolment of a company of able-bodied men. 



whose services shall forthwith be tendered to the govern- 

"Voted, to provide for the families of those who may 
need assistance during their actual service.'' 

The President called for seventy-tive thousand men, 
through the war department, on the fifteenth of April, 
1861. The gentlemen of the committee, chosen at this 
town meeting, and other men of w^ealth and influence, 
appealed to the patriotism of the citizens, assuring them 
that the families of married men should be cared for, in 
case they should volunteer to fill the quota of the town. 
During the next June, seven Townsend men w^ere enlisted, 
and were mustered into the Sixth Regiment, Massachusetts 
Volunteers (June 19). The names of these men, and 
their record in connection with the regiment, are here 
presented : — 

Henry J. Parker. 
Frederick A. Jones. 
Robert F. Webb. 
John Qiugg. 
Ransom C. Watson. 
George N. Spaulding. 
Daniel Sidelincjer. 

Mustered out at expiration of 

Mustered out at expiration of 

Mustered out at expiration of 

Credited to Pepperell. Mustered 

out at expiration of term. 
Mustered out at expiration of 

Mustered out at expiration of 

Mustered out at expiration of 


These men enlisted for three months, but the record 
shows that they were mustered out, August 2, 1861. Most 


of these soldiers re-enlisted into other regiments, and their 
record will appear further on in this chapter. 

It appears that the seceding states had been making- 
preparations for a fight, for some time, while the North, 
with the exception of a few regiments of volunteer militia, 
in Massachusetts and one or two other states, was unpre- 
pared for either an offensive or a defensive war. 

During the summer and fall of 1861, the North began 
to "get on its muscle," and "guess" that something must be 
done. In September, of this year, thirty-two Townsend 
men volunteered into the service, and joined the Twent}^- 
Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, Company G. This regi- 
ment was mustered in, October 18, 1861, and mustered out, 
August 26, 1865. It sailed from Boston directly for Ship 
Island, where it arrived by steamer, in less than ten days 
from the time of its departure. It was a part of the 
Nineteenth Army Corps, Department of the Gulf. It 
took part in the engagements of Winchester, Cedar Creek, 
and Fisher's Hill. 

The names and account of the Townsend men are 
as follows : — 

Loren Hosley. 
George A. Adams. 
Charles W. Dix. 

Discharged at expiration of term 
of service, Nov. 7, 1864. 

Discharged at expiration of term 
of service, Nov. 7, 1864. 

Promoted Sept. 27, 1863, to 
quarter-master sergeant. Re- 


Jan. ] 

[, 1864. 




15, 1865 

, to 

second lieutenant Co. B. 


charged June 18, 1865. 



James Willard. 

Residence, White- 
tield, Maine. 

Ally B. Brown. 

Elijah T. Bates. 
Charles H. Brown. 
Warren B. Clark. 
Franklin F. Cross. 
William Davis. 

Russell O. Houohton. 

Alvah Richardson. 
Charles Milliard. 

James A. Sanborn. 
Frederick A. Jones. 

Discharged for disability — date 
unknown. Enlisted tor Town- 
send quota. 

Transferred March i, 1864, to 
what regiment is unknown. 

Killed at Winchester, Va., Sept. 
19, 1864. 

Killed at Winchester, Va., Sept. 
19, 1864. 

Discharged at expiration of term 
of service, Nov. 7, 1864. 

Died at Marine Hospital, April 
12, 1863, at New Orleans. 

Veteran — Re-enlisted in same 
company and regiment, Jan. i, 
1864. Mustered out with the 

Second sergeant, Nov. i, 1861. 
Promoted to second lieutenant, 
Sept. 30, 1862. Promoted to 
lirst lieutenant, Dec. 12, 1863. 
Promoted to captain, Oct. 18, 
1864. Mustered out with the 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Co. B, Capt. E. S. Clark, either 
re-enlisted, or was transferred 
to Mass. Third Cavalry. Died 
.Nov. 9, 1863, at New Orleans. 

Drowned at New Orleans, Aug. 
27, 1863. 

Co. B, Capt. E.S. Clark. Killed 
in action, at Winchester. Va.. 
Sept. 19, 1864. 



Samuel W. Griffeth. 
Merrick L. Gilson. 

Charles R. Shattuck. 

William Hunt. 
Charles L. Spaulding. 
Myron F. Going, 

Charles J. Hapgood. 
Charles L. Hall. 
Charles H. Martin. 
Aaron S. Petts. 
Ai H. Spalding. 

Andrew H. Sloan. 

Frank Stevens. 

Mustered out at expiration ot' 
term of service. 

Co. B, Capt. E. S. Clark. Dis- 
charged at New Orleans, Oct. 
lo, 1862. 

With Capt. S. R. Fletcher. Dis- 
charged for disability, at New 
Orleans, Sept. 11, 1862. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Died of diphtheria, Oct. 15, 1864, 
in Pennsylvania. 

Promoted to commissarv ser- 
geant, Nov. I, 1 861. Mustered 
out at the expiration of term of 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Transferred to another regiment. 
March i, 1864. 

Died Aug. 20, 1862, at St. James 
Hospital, New Orleans. 

Discharged, from Mass. Gen. 
Hospital, March 28, 1864. 

Veteran — Re-enlisted in same 
compan}-, Feb. i, 1864. Mus- 
tered out with the regiment. 

Veteran — Re-enlisted in same 
company, Feb. i, 1864. Mus- 
tered out with the regiment. 

Promoted to corporal, July 30. 
1862. Veteran — Re-enlisted in 
same company. Jan. 6, 1864. 
Killed in action, at Winchester, 
Va., Sept. 19, 1864. 



Francis W. Wood. 

Ransom C. Watson. 
Lysander P. Ta3'lor, 
John Shattuck. 

Veteran — Re-enlisted in same 
company, Jan. 3, 1864. Dis- 
charged for disability, June 19, 

Killed in action at Winchester. 
Va., Sept. 19, 1864. 

Discharged at New Orleans for 
disability, May 17, 1863. 

Veteran — Re-enlisted in same 
company. Mustered out with 
the regiment. 

As has been seen, Townsend sent forty -two men into 
the iield during the first year of the war. Before June, 
1862, the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and 
Shiloh, had been fought and won against the secessionists. 
The mouth of the Mississippi had been cleared of rebel 
batteries, and its forts captured. New Orleans was under 
the military rule of General Butler. The success of the 
loyal troops, particularly in the west and southwest, in 
nearh' every engagement, had been complete, and the 
people of the North were hopeful of a speedy suppression 
of the rebellion. But the reverses in the Shenandoah 
Valley, and the imminent danger of a successful attempt to 
take Washington, caused the President to issue the call for 
three hundred thousand men, for three years, which he 
did on the first of July, 1862. 

Under this call, twenty-five men of this town, on the 
twenty-second of July, volunteered into the service, and 
joined the Thirty-Third Massachusetts Regiment of Vol- 
unteers, Company E, Capt. William H. H. Hinds, of 
Groton, (discharged May 17, 1863,) and afterward under 
command of Capt. George M. Walker, of Newton. 



This regiment was mustered into the service of the 
United States, August 13, 1862. Mustered out, June 11, 
1865. It took part in the engagements at Fredericksburg, 
Chancellorsville, Beverly Ford, Gettysburg, Lookout 
Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and the several battles of 
Sherman's grand army. It may be mentioned that there 
were only one or two regiments from this Commonwealth, 
that endured as many hardships, or faced death on the 
battle-field, as often and as bravely as did the Thirty- 
Third Massachusetts Volunteers. On the arrival of the 
regiment at Boston, June 13, 1865, Mayor Lincoln gave it 
a generous reception ; after parading the principal streets, 
the regiment marched to Faneuil Hall and partook of a 
bountiful collation, furnished by the city authorities. 
Names of the volunteers and their record : — 

George W. Bennett. 
Abijah W. Blood. 

James Buckley. 

George E. Clark. 

(Bugler. ) 
Thomas Dalrymple. 

Lewis Gonnier. 

(Naturalized, from 

Andrew D, Heselton. 

Discharged for disability, Dec. 
9, 1862. 

Died of chronic diarrhoea, at 
Baltimore, August 12, i''^63. 
Buried at Townsend Centre. 

Wounded March 16, 1865. Dis- 
charged at hospital. 

Mustered out June 11, 1862. 

Died at Lookout Valley Farm, of 
disease, 1864. Buried at Chat- 

Left regiment, 1864. Trans- 
ferred to Invalid Corps. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 



James King. 
Clarence W. Sylvester. 

Charles E. Marshall. 

Dominick May. 

Waldo T. Tower. 

Jonah Parker. 

Henry J. Parker. 

(Enlisted first ser- 

Charles W. Parker. 

Simeon K. Richards. 

S3dvester T. Wheeler. 

Charles W.Wetherbee. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Discharged for disability, July 
21, 1864. Died of consump- 
tion, 1864. Buried in Town- 

Died of disease, at Germantown, 
Va., Dec. 4, 1862. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Wounded in the neck by a gun- 
shot, at Raccoon Ridge, Look- 
out Valley Farm, Oct. 29, 1864. 
Nearly lost his life. 

Promoted to second lieutenant, 
March 29, 1863. Promoted to 
first lieutenant, July 16, 1863. 
Killed in action, at Resica, 
Ga., May 15, 1864. 

Promoted to sergeant, August, 
1863. Mustered out with regi- 
ment, at expiration of term of 

Wounded at Resica, Ga., May 
15, 1864. Died of his wound, 
June 25, 1864. Buried at Chat- 

Died June 10, 1864, from a 
wound received in action, at 
Resica, Ga. Buried at Chat- 

Died of disease, Dec. 29, 1862. 



Jefferson Whitcomb. 
Evander W. Wright. 

Franklin S. Wright. 

Andrew L. Woodard. 
William H. Wright. 

Lewis T. Wright. 

Abram Clark. 
Oliver B. Osborn. 

Mustered out at expiration of 

term of service. 
Wounded slightly, at Lookout 

Valley Farm, Oct. 29, 1863. 

Mustered out of regiment on 

detached hospital duty, at 

Nashville, Tenn. 
Killed at Lookout Valley Farm, 

Oct. 29, 1863. Buried at 

Died of disease, Nov. 8, 1864. 

Buried at Chattanooga. 
Mustered out of regiment and 

detached on hospital duty at 

Nashville, Tenn. 
Promoted to corporal, April 16, 

1864. Died of disease, Oct. 14, 

Discharged Jan. 4, 1863. 

Died of disease, Nov. 4, 1862, at 
Thoroughfare Gap, where his 
comrades buried him "beneath 
a chestnut tree." 

This regiment used up two stands of colors, which 
were so torn and mudlated by wear and bullets, that they 
would scarcely hang together. They were sent home and 
deposited in the state house, with other mementos of this 
sanguinary conflict. A third stand of colors was sent to 
the regiment, on which were inscribed the names of the 
twenty-two battles in which it was engaged. 

The Sixth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, re- 
enlisted in August, 1862, for nine months, and were 



mustered out, in June, 1863. It participated in the siege 
of Suffolk, Virginia, which continued from April 11 to 
May 4, 1863. It was in a skirmish at a place called 
Deserted House, where it lost several men, killed. Five 
Townsend men were with Capt. George F. Shattuck, of 
Groton, in this regiment, viz : — 

Richard Pierce. 
Albert D. Turner. 
Alanson Withington. 

Charles W. Hildreth. 
Charles A. Wright. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Killed Jan. 30, 1863, in a skir- 
mish near Suffolk, Va., at a 
place called Deserted House. 

Mustered out at expiration of 
term of service. 

Detached on hospital duty. Mus- 
tered out at expiration of term 
of service. 

The first of August, 1862, the President called for 
three hundred thousand nine months men. War meetings 
during that month were frequently held, at the town hall, 
to devise means to fill the quota of the town. At one of 
these assemblies of the citizens, Anson D. Fessenden was 
selected to recruit a company, if possible, if not, as many 
as he could. He attended to that duty in a commendable 
manner, and on the second day of September following, 
forty Townsend men, including himself, volunteered for 
nine months, and signed enlistment papers. A sufficient 
number of recruits enlisted, about the same time, in the 
town of Shirley, and other neighboring towns, which were 
added to the Townsend men, to make up a company. The 

•■sr * 



officers chosen for this company were : Andrew J. 
Clough, of Shirley, captain ; Anson D. Fessenden, of 
Townsend, first lieutenant ; Stephen W. Longle}', of 
Shirley, second lieutenant. 

This company w as attached to the Fifty-Third Regi- 
ment, Massachusetts Volunteers, and w^as designated Com- 
pany D. Mustered in, October 17, 1862. 

Captain Clough was discharged at the city of New 
York, on the outward transit, January 23, 1863, "on sur- 
geon's certificate, by special order, No. 26." 

Lieutenant Fessenden w^as in command of this 
company till September 2, 1863, when the regiment was 
mustered out. 

Anson D. Fessenden, the son of Benjamin and Betsey 
(Stevens) Fessenden, was born February 18, 1839. At a 
suitable age he was sent to Wilbraham Academy, w'here 
he diligently applied himself to his studies, standing well 
in his class. He was prompt in his attendance, and gave 
strict attention to the exercises of that institution. During 
the year 1861, he was a member of the scientific depart- 
ment of Union College, where he pursued the studies of 
mathematics and civil engineering. The fact, that he has 
a good command of language, and just confidence enough 
to make him a good public speaker, is sufficient proof 
that he improved his time while he was a student. On 
the first day of January, 1864, he joined his father in the 
coopering trade. Since that time, this firm, doing business 
under the name and style of B. & A. D. Fessenden, 
has done an extensive business in the manufacture and 
shipping of goods in that line. As a manufacturer, he is 
as popular with his workmen as he was with the "boys in 
blue" under his command. He is a man of a social and 



agreeable disposition, and much respected as a townsman. 
He represented this district in the lower branch of the 
General Court, in 1865. He married Thirza A. Boutell, 
of this town, December 6, 1865. 

The Fifty-Third Regiment served in the Department 
of the Gulf, — Nineteenth Army Corps — ^John W. Kimball, 
of Fitchburg, colonel in command. 

This regiment was in the battle of Port Hudson, May 
27, 1863 ; assault on Port Hudson, June 14, 1863 ; siege of 
Port Hudson, from May 24 to July 8, 1863; March 12, 
1863, skirmish with enemy on the Bayou Road; skirmish 
at Pattersonville, La., near Fort Bisland, April 12, 1863 ; 
skirmish in front of Port Hudson, May 24, 1863. Names 
of Townsend men on the roll of Company D : — 

John Q^ Adams. 

Isaac Allen. 

Wallis S. Arlan. 

John B. Blood. 
Daniel Brogan. 
John A. Brown. 

William Bush. 

Corporal — Promoted to sergeant. 
Discharged July 24, 1863, by 
special order No. 189. Re- 
enlisted on Banks' body guard. 

Died on his way home, on board 
steamer, near Memphis, Tenn., 
Aug. 16, 1863, of chronic 
diarrhoea. Buried at Memphis, 

Killed in action at Port Hudson, 
June 14, 1863. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out w-ith the regiment. 

Promoted to corporal, April 11, 
1863. Mustered out with the 

Sergeant — Mustered out with the 



Charles S. Champney 
Edmund O. Day. 

William Farmer. 
Anson D. Fessenden. 

Andrew Foster. 
Adams S. Graham. 
George S. Graham. 
Harlan F. Green. 

John Haynes. 

John P. Hildreth. 
Webster Hoffses. 
Leander C. Jefts. 
Dennisson S. Kimball. 

Francis A. Laws. 

Lewis O. Laws. 

William Ordway. 
Henry C. Nichols. 

Levi T. Parker. 
Shubell B. Pierce. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

In Co. C, with Leominster men. 
Mustered out with regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

First lieutenant. Promoted to 

captain, May 21, 186;: 


tered out with regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Fourth sergeant. Mustered out 
with the regiment. 

Corporal. Died of typhoid fever, 
July 13, 1863, at Port Hud- 
son. Buried at Port Hudson. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Killed in action at Port Hudson. 
June 14, 1863. 

Discharged Jan. 15, 1863. Sur- 
geon's certificate. 

Died at Marine Hospital, New 
Orleans, Aug. 5, 1863. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Died of typhoid fever, at Charity 
Hospital, New Orleans, March 
21, 1863. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 
Mustered out with the regiment. 



Hiram F. Richards. 
John Richards. 

Edson A. Richardson. 
Dennis J. Shehan. 
George A. Sherwin. 

Alden W. Smith. 
Benjamin B. Spalding. 

Frederick F. Spalding. 

Augustus G. Stickney. 
William E. Sjdvester. 
Levi Wares. 

A] son S. Warren. 

William H.Woodward. 
Thomas H. Warren. 

Mustered out with tlie regiment. 

Co. C, with Leominster men. 

Mustered out with regiment. 
Died at Marine Hospital, New^ 

Orleans, of chronic diarrhoea, 

May 6, 1863. 
Died July 10, 1863, of wounds 

received at Port Hudson, June 

14. 1863. 
Discharged from Hospital, at 

New Orleans, June 18, 1863. 

Surgeon's certiticate. 

Mustered out w^ith the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 
Veteran — Re-enlisted Aug. 24, 
1864, into the Tw^enty-Fourth 
Mass. Regiment. Mustered 
out with the regiment. 

Discharged by special order, July 
24,1863. Re-enlisted in Banks' 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Died Feb. 9, 1863, of inflamma- 
tion of the lungs. Buried at 
Cypress Grove, New Orleans. 
— Hospital record. 

Died of chronic diarrhoea, at 
Baton Rouge, La., April 6, 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Discharged July, 24, 1863. Re- 
enlisted in Banks' body-guard. 



The following are the names of Townsend men in 
various regiments : — 

Patrick Murra}^ 

Charles C. Cobleigh. 

Henrv O. Adams. 

James E. Brooks. 

Amos Pierce. 

Boyd Todd. 

Edward Potter. 

Enlisted July 2, 1861, for three 
years, in Sixteenth Mass. Regi- 
ment. Wounded at battle of 
Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. Dis- 
charged by order of General 

Enlisted September, 1861, for 
three years, in First Mass. Cav- 
alry. Discharged Sept. 24, 

Enlisted August, 1861, for three 
years, in Fifteenth Mass. Regi- 
ment. Discharged Feb. 7, 

Enlisted Sept. 15, 1862, in Second 
New Hampshire Regiment. 
Received bounty from town 
of Temple, New Hampshire. 
Mustered out with regiment. 

Enlisted Sept. 20, 1861, in First 
Mass. Cavalry. Promoted to 
corporal Feb. 21, 1862. Trans- 
ferred to Fourth Cavalry. Dis- 
charged for disability, Nov. 25, 
1862, on surgeon's certificate. 

Enlisted Sept. 28, 1861, for three 
years, in Twenty-Third Mass. 
Regiment. Wounded in action 
at White Hall, North Carolina, 
Dec. 16, 1862. Discharged 
June 12, 1863. 

Enlisted Aug. 13, 1862, in First 
Mass. Regiment. Mustered 
out with the regiment. May 25, 



Lorenzo Bruce. 

James A. Willard. 

George Spalding. 

William H. Lewis. 

Alden Adams. 

Leonard O. Bruce. 

William T. Barrett. 

William T. Adams. 

Enlisted Oct. i8, 1861, for three 
years, in First Mass. Cavalry. 
Discharged at expiration of 
term of service. 

Enlisted Sept. 20, 1861, for three 
years, in First Mass. Cavalry. 
Transferred to Fourth Cavalry. 
Corporal — Discharged for dis- 
ability. May II, 1862. 

Enlisted Sept. 30, 1861, for three 
years, in First Mass. Cavalry. 
Transferred to Fourth Cavalry. 
Discharged at expiration of 
term of service. 

Enlisted May 19, 1861, for three 
years, in Twelfth Mass. Regi- 
ment. Credited to the town of 
Weymouth. Mustered out with 
the regiment. 

Enlisted for nine months, Aug. 
29, 1862, in Forty-Fourth 
Mass. Regiment. Credited to 
Dorchester. Discharged at ex- 
piration of term of service. 

Enlisted for three years, July 26, 
1862, in Thirty-Sixth Mass. 
Regiment. Corporal — Dis- 

charged April 29, 1863. 

Enlisted Aug. 6, 1862, for three 
years, in Thirty-Ninth Mass. 
Regiment. Third Corporal — 
Mustered out with regiment. 

Enlisted Sept. 27, 1861, for three 
years, in Twenty-Fifth Mass. 
Regiment. Died in Libby 
Prison, July 23, 1864. 



Charles Searles. 

Julius C. Eastman. 

Henry H. Hosley 

Joseph O. Hildrith. 

Oliver E. Hazard. 

Horace Hazard. 


Nahum G. Hazard. 

Enlisted July 2, 1861, for three 
years, in Sixteenth Mass. Regi- 
ment. Discharged at expira- 
tion of term of service. 

Enlisted March 7, 1864, in 
Sixteenth Mass. Regiment, 
Light Battery. Mustered out 
with regiment. 

Enlisted July 12, 1861, for three 
years, in Fifteenth Mass. Regi- 
ment. Discharged for disa- 
bility, Nov. 12, 1862. 

Enlisted Aug. 13, 1862, for three 
years, in Fortieth Mass. Regi- 
ment. Mustered out with the 
regiment, June 16, 1865. 

Enlisted December, 1863, for 
three years, in Fifty-Fourth 
Mass. Regiment. Wounded 
slightly, Feb. 20, 1864. All 
the men in this regiment, ex- 
cept the officers, were of African 
descent. Mustered out with 
the regiment. 

Drafted. Served in Fifty-Fourth 
Mass. Regiment. This was 
the only Townsend man who 
was drafted that went to the 
war. Mustered out with the 

Enlisted Aug. 27, 1864, for one 
year, in Fifty-Fifth Mass. Regi- 
ment, Company I. All colored 
men in this regiment, except 
the officers. Mustered out 
with the regiment. 



John J. Hennessey 

William A. Champney. 

Edwin Adams. 

Thomas H. Welch. 
Robert Welch. 
Daniel T. Goodwin. 

George F. French. 
Horace E. Lawrence. 

Enlisted May 4, 1864, for three 
years, in Fifth Mass. Cavalry. 
Mustered out with regiment. 
All colored men in this regi- 

Enlisted July 19, 1862, lor three 
years, in Thirty-Seventh Mass. 
Regiment. Credited to the town 
of Hadley. Mustered out at 
expiration of term of service. 

Enlisted for three' 3'ears, in 
Sixteenth Mass. Regiment. 
Wounded severely in right 
hand by a shell. Lost his 
hand. Discharged — date un- 

Enlisted September, 1864, for one 
year, in Heav}- Artiller}-. 

Enlisted Aug. 2, 1864, in Second 
Regiment Heavy Artillery. 

Enlisted Aug. 31, 1864, for one 
year, in Nineteenth Regiment 
Heavy Artillery. Mustered out 
with regiment. 

Enlisted at Sioux Cit}', in Spring 
of 1861, in First Nebraska 
Regiment, with Capt. Hollins. 
Died at Syracuse, Missouri, of 
fever, Nov. 24, 1861. 

Enlisted at Boston, tor three 
years, March 12, 1862, into 
Third Regiment Rhode Island 
Ardllery. Discharged at Hilton 
Head, for disability, Dec. 26, 
1862. Died and was buried 
in Townsend, in May, 1863. 



The following is a list of the names of men who 
enlisted in August, 1864, for one year, and were mustered 
in on the twenty-fifth of the same month. They are 
described in the records as belonging to the "Twenty- 
Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, Unattached Heavy Ar- 
tillery." They were stationed at Fort Delaware and near 
the city of Washington : — 

Vernal Barber. ^ 
John A. Brown. 
William Coombs. 
George H. Ellis. 

Jonas L. Jennerson. 
Benjamin F. King. 
Augustus Lovejov. 
Newell F. Putnam. 
Nathaniel A. Ripley. 
Benjamin B. Spalding. 

Amos Webber 

Elbridge A. Wright. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Discharged May 3, 1865. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Died at Mount Pleasant Hospital, 
Washington, D. C, Dec. 30. 

Discharged May 5, 1865. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Mustered out with the regiment. 

Served with Fifty-Third Mass. 
Regiment. Re-enlisted in this 
regiment, August, 1864. Mus- 
tered out with regiment. 

Credited to the quota of Fitch- 
burg. Mustered out with the 

Mustered out with the regiment. 
Committed suicide ; shot him- 
self, May 17, 1872. 


A roll of the men who enlisted, July 7, 1864, for one 
hundred days, and proceeded to Washington and per- 
formed guard duty at Arlington Heights, and at other 
places, near the Capital. The men are represented in the 
record as belonging to Company B, Sixth Regiment, 
Massachusetts Volunteers. No casualties happened to 
these men during their absence : — 

Charles Adams. James C. Moody. 

Joseph Baxter. Ai Richards. 

James Brogan. Charles Spaulding. 

Rufus T. Brown. Marshall D. Spaulding. 

George H. Green. Henry Sturtevant. 

Samuel K. Gilson. William R. Wright. 

George S. Graham. John B. Spaulding. 
Charles W. Hildreth. 

In closing the record of those who thus gave their 
best efforts to preserve the Union, it must be remembered, 
that to every call for troops, a response from the citizens of 
the town went forth as generous as the revolutionary 
lathers returned one hundred years ago. While the town 
was pouring forth its treasures without stint or reluctance, 
these patriotic men gave their presence in the "tiger 
strife," — their lives to the cause. The terrible battle-fields 
of Virginia, Louisiana, and other states, testify to the 
bravery of these Townsend young men, twelve of whom 
were killed in action, and twenty-two lost their lives by 
starvation in rebel prisons, disease and the casualties of 

The loss of their lives caused many sorrowful hearts : 
man\' tearful eves watched for the news from everv battle- 


field. Their widows and orphans are still mournful at 
their early bereavement of husbands and fathers. 

"^How sleep the brave who sink to rest. 
By all their country's wishes blest. 
Where Spring with dewy fingers cold, 
Returns to deck their hallowed mould, 
She there shall find a sweeter sod. 
Than fancy's feet have ever trod. 

"By fairy forms their dirge is sung. 
By hands unseen their knell is rung ; 
There Honor conies a pilgrim gray. 
To bless the turf that wrap? their claJ^ 
And Freedom shall a while repair 
To dwell a weeping hermit there." 

The foregoing rolls contain the names of all the 
Townsend men, as far as is known, who volunteered to 
assist in suppressing the rebellion. No mention of the 
substitutes has been made, as they were mere merchandise, 
used for the time to shield the men who chose t-o purchase 
them rather than to take the risks of war upon their own 

It has been a source of pleasure to the writer, that, 
during the entire labor of examining muster rolls, dis- 
charge papers, diaries, Adjutant-General's reports, and 
town records, in order to present a correct history of these 
volunteers, that the word ^^ deserted''' has never been found, 
written or printed, opposite to the name of one of them. 
Nearly every one of these volunteers, who returned after 
the rebellion was crushed, assumed the duties of indus- 
trious citizens, with as much fidelity as though thev had 
never been introduced to "grim-visaged war.'' 

The town records, during the time the rebellion was 
in progress, were not kept with the greatest accuracy, but, 
as near as can be ascertained from all sources, Townsend 
sent to the field, troops enlisted for three months, one 


hundred days, nine months, and three years or for the 
war, including substitutes, to the number of two hundred 
and seventy men, of whom one hundred and sixty-one 
were voters in this town at the time of their enlistment. 

The services of the women of this town, acting in 
concert with the Sanitary Commission, are not to be over- 
looked. During the war, from the time our soldiers were 
tirst encamped within the borders of the state, till they 
returned home at the expiration of their term of service, 
they were remembered by this class of patient toilers. 
The sessions of the Ladies' Benevolent Society were 
many, which were devoted to industrious efforts in making 
quilts, clothing, lint, and cushions for broken limbs. The 
busy hands of the home-circle, similarly employed, should 
also be mentioned. The goods thus made together with 
condiments, provisions, stimulants, and delicacies, pur- 
chased at considerable expense, suitable for those who 
were suffering in the hospitals, were, at different times, 
carefully packed, filling many boxes and barrels, and 
forwarded in a cause where philanthropy was at a 
premium. Among the ladies who were active in this 
womanly sympathy, the names of Mrs. Dr. Bertram, Mrs. 
Ralph Ball, Mrs. Jonas Spalding, Jr., Mrs. Noah Bali. 
and others (did space admit) , might be mentioned. Their 
efforts awakened gladness in many hearts, and will be 
held in grateful remembrance, as was that of Eunice 
Locke, of revolutionar}' fame. This chapter now closes 
with the simple statement, that, all that is claimed for 
Townsend, during those modern "days that tried men's 
souls," is, that the town did its duty in a commendable 
manner, compared with the other towns of this time- 
honored Commonwealth. 



Lawyers : Walter Hastings— Aaron Keyes— Frederick A. Worcestei-. 
Physicians : Joseph Adams— Samuel Hosley— Isaac Mulliliin— 
Samuel Lovejoy — Moses Kidder— John Bertram — Ebenezer P. 
Hills— Augustus G. Stickney — John Heard — Royal B. Boynton— 
Charles J. Towne. College Graduates: John Hubbard— 
Abraham Buttertield— Daniel Adams — Joseph "Walker — William 
Farmer— John Stevens— Joel Giles — John Graham — John Giles 
—Charles Brooks — Warren Brooks — Mark Davis — Charles T. 
Haynes — John M. Pi'octor — Randall Spaulding — Eliel S. Ball— 
Wayland Spaulding. 

The following memoirs and sketches of the law3'ers 
and physicians, contain the names of those only who have 
resided here for considerable time, and have been per- 
manently identified with the interests of Townsend. 
Probably more men, of the medical profession, have come 
here and had a temporary residence, than the number of 
those whose names will appear in this chapter. Men, 
having various grades of skill, character, and learning, 
have given this town a short trial, and then taken their 
departure. A promising young physician, by the name of 
Gerry, about 1848, came to Townsend Centre and located. 
He married Caroline Brooks, daughter of Samuel Brooks, 
of this town. Within a short time after his, settlement here. 



while engaged in a surgical operation, he got some virus 
into a slight scratch in his hand, which caused his death 
very suddenly. The "what might have been" was deeply 
considered by his widow and friends whom he left behind. 
There have been only two or three lawyers who came to 
Townsend and made it their residence for a short time. 

Walter Hastings was the first lawyer who made 
Townsend a residence and a place of business. He was 
born in Chelmsford, 1778, was graduated at Harvard 
College, 1799, and studied law with Judge Prescott, of 
Groton. He commenced practice here, soon after he was 
admitted to the bar, in 1803. His father and grandfather 
were both graduates of Harvard College, and both were 
prominent patriots in the revolutionary service. He lived 
at the Harbor, and is remembered by the elderly people 
of Towmsend, of both sexes, as a man of elegant personal 
appearance ("a handsome man"), and of dignified ad- 

In 1808, he was chosen captain of the North Company 
of Townsend, which ofiice he held till 1812, when, war 
with England having been declared, he w^as appointed 
colonel, and was placed in command of about three 
thousand Middlesex county troops, stationed at Fort War- 
ren, now Fort Winthrop.* He remained in command till 
the close of the war, when he returned to Townsend and 
resumed practice in his profession. He took great interest 
in military affairs, which engrossed much of his time and 
attention, even after peace was declared, for which reason. 

*The war witli Kngland, in ISl-2, was not popular iu Massacliusetts. Towiigenfl 
Iiad six or eight drafted men with Colonel Hastings, at Fort Warren, among whom 
were John Emery. Daniel Campbell and Samuel Searls. Tliese men weie absent from 
home onlv a short time. 


probably, he did not stand in the front rank of the legal 
profession. He possessed first-class abilities, both natural 
and acquired. 

In 1814, he married Roxanna Warren, daughter of 
Moses Warren. She survived him, and afterward married 
Elisha Glidden. Colonel Hastings died, June 6, 1821, 
and at his solicitation, he was buried with military honors, 
at Townsend Centre. The Townsend Light Infantry, 
Captain Levi Warren, was in attendance as a guard of 
honor, and discharged "the last farewell shot'' at the 
portals of his sepulchre. 

Aaron Keyes, the second lawyer who practiced in 
this town, was born at Westford, in 1791. He was a good 
scholar, and he enjoyed the privileges of a thorough 
academic education. He commenced reading law in an 
office at Bridgewater, in this state, and finished his studies 
in that direction with John Abbott, a lawyer practicing at 
Westford. He was admitted to the bar in 1822, and he 
opened an office at Townsend Centre, the same year. He 
was in practice in this town from the time of settlement 
here till his death, which occurred in 1842, a period of 
twenty years. He was postmaster, at the central village, 
from 1826 to 1835. He was a good counsellor, well read 
in his profession, and withal, not inclined to "engender 
strife" among his acquaintances, for the purpose of 
making business which would turn to his pecuniarv ad- 
vantage. He was much respected as a townsman, and 
what is rather the exception than the rule among men of 
the legal profession, his chirography was neat and per- 
fectly legible, which made him an excellent conveyancer. 
In 1824, he married Martha Warren, daughter of Moses 


Frederick A. Worcester was the third person 
who permanently located in Townsend, in the practice of 
law. He was born in Hollis, New Hampshire, 1807. His 
father, Jesse Worcester, Esq., was the most influential 
man of his time, in that town. 

When only fifteen years old, young Jesse was at 
Ticonderoga, in 1776, and he did good service in the con- 
tinental army during the latter part of the war. This revo- 
lutionary patriot married when about twenty-two years of 
age, and subsequently "many children played around his 
door." By his good management, industry, and their 
help, he found means to give five of his sons a collegiate 
education: Joseph E. Worcester (the Lexicographer), 
Yale College, 1811 ; Rev. Taylor G. Worcester, Harvard 
University, 1823 ; Rev. Henry A. Worcester, Yale Col- 
lege, 1828 ; Hon. Samuel T. Worcester, Harvard Univer- 
sity, 1830; Hon. Frederick A. Worcester, Harvard Uni- 
versity, 183 1. 

In addition to these five sons, who were college 
graduates, two other sons fitted and entered college. Jesse 
Worcester, Jr., born 1782, fitted for, and afterward entered 
Harvard College, 1809, and died in 1809. His brothers 
have credited him with being the quickest of apprehension, 
and having the greatest natural scope of intellect of an\' 
of them. Rev. Grant Powers, in a centennial address, 
delivered at Hollis, in September, 1830, says of him : 
"Jesse Worcester, Jr., was a rare youth.'' ***** 
"Over his remains, Genius wept for a favorite son, and 
the world sustained a loss of which she was unconscious." 
David Worcester, born 1808, entered the Freshman class at 
Harvard College in 1828, where he remained till near the 
close of the Junior year, when he left to accept a lucrative 

^^^ ^ 



7 ^^//^^^^-c^^^ 


position as a teacher. It would be difficult to find another 
New England family which contained so man}^ brothers 
who obtained a college education. These men all in- 
herited the large vital forces and strong intellectual 
powers of their father. 

Frederick A., fitted for college in part at Pinkerton 
Academy, in Deny, New Hampshire, and partly at Phil- 
lips Academy, Andover. At Cambridge, he ranked well 
in his class, which contained a large number of good 
scholars, among whom were Rev. John H. Morrison. 
Hon. John L. Motley, who was United States Minister at 
one time to Austria, and subsequently in the same office at 
the Court of St. James, Wendell Phillips, the agitator, 
and others, who have left their mark. Soon after his 
graduation he commenced the study of law, with Benjamin 
M. Farley, in his native village, where he remained about 
a year. From thence he entered the law school at Cam- 
bridge, and continued his studies there for one year. He 
finished his professional studies with George F. Farley, 
Esq., a noted lawyer, at Groton, the next year. 

In September, 1835, ^^^ came to Townsend, intending 
to locate here, but at the solicitation of Hon. John B. Hill, 
(the historian of Mason, New Hampshire,) of the law 
firm of Appleton & Hill, Bangor, Maine, he was in- 
duced to go to that city and manage the office business 
of that firm. The position not being as agreeable as he 
anticipated, he returned to Townsend, the following sum- 
mer, and opened a law office. Since that time he has 
diligently applied himself to his profession, and acquired 
a large practice. At present, he is considered one of the 
best men to prepare a case for a jur}-, that the county 
contains. He does not pretend to be an advocate, and is 


not an eloquent speaker, but he possesses a masculine 
mind, is a good judge of law, and when associated at the 
bar with a good speaker, his clients are most always on the 
winning side. He appears to the best advantage before a 
bench of judges in cases carried up to the Supreme Court. 
Mr. Worcester is a man of strong passions and prejudices, 
and he generally takes more interest in the causes en- 
trusted to his care than his clients do. For the last few 
years he has had an office at Aver, residing in Townsend. 
In 1854, ^^^ married Jane M. Kellogg, of Amherst. 

The tirst physician in Townsend, of which anything 
is know-n, was Joseph Adams, who came to this town in 
1774, and left in 1776, when the patriots made it too 
warm for the tories, of which he was one. A more par- 
ticular account of this man may be found in that part of 
this w^ork w^hich treats upon the loyalists in the revolution. 

Dr. Samuel Hosley, tradition says, was a surgeon 
in one of the New^ Hampshire regiments in the continental 
service. He was in practice for a long time, residing on 
the place now owned by Daniel Dix, on the east side of 
Hathorn's meadow. He was born there, in 1758. Nothing 
is known about his preparation or education for a physi- 
cian or svirgeon ; and it is probable that his education was 
quite limited. He married Mary Farrar, of Concord. 

Dr. Isaac Mullikin originated from Bradford. He 
came here from Lunenburg, about 1780, and located at the 
fork of the road, just easterly of the bridge over the brook 
that empties into Hathorn's meadows from the southeast. 
The house which he built, and in which he lived, is still 
standing. Tlie bridge over the brook at that place is 


called, in the town records, the "ministerial bridge," Mr. 
Hemenway having owned the land on one side of this 
brook, and Mr. Dix the other side. He was a man of 
good culture and gentlemanly deportment, both careful 
and skilful in his profession. He was a justice of the 
peace. He was also town clerk for a number of years. 
The records, made by this gentleman, are neat, legibly 
written, and arranged with strict grammatical accuracy. 
He was much respected as a citizen, a physician, and as 
an exemplary man. 

Dr. Samuel Lovejoy was born in Wilton, New 
Hampshire, in 1775. He received his education at New 
Ipswich Academy. It is not known where he took a 
medical degree, or whether he ever took one. In his 
time, it was the custom for young men desiring to become 
doctors, to pass a couple of years, more or less, with some 
experienced physician, from which apprenticeship they 
would emerge, don the Dr., and commence practice. Dr. 
Lovejoy, came to Townsend, in 1802, and was in practice 
here more than thirty years. He possessed a good share 
of natural affability, had onl\' a few enemies, and was 
considered a skilled and competent physician. He was 
the last doctor in town who travelled on horseback, with 
saddle-bags, in which to carry his medicines. During the 
latter part of his life he became insane, and continued, at 
times, in that condition for a long time, which was a 
source of much grief and trouble to his friends and rel- 
atives. In 1802, he married Betsey Lawrence, of Groton. 
the oldest sister of Hon. Abbott Lawrence. For a second 
wife, he married Sarah Barr, of New Ipswich, in 1831. 
He died in 1851, aged 76. 


Dr. Moses Kidder was a native of Billerica. He 
titted for college, and entered Williams College, two years 
in advance, where he spent the junior year in 1810, but he 
did not proceed further in a collegiate course. Most of 
the year 181 1, he was studying with Dr. Stickney, of An- 
trim, New Hampshire, and the next year he was with Dr. 
Matthias Spaulding, of Amherst, New Hampshire, who, 
probably, was the best educated physician and surgeon, at 
that time, in the state. In 1813, he was a surgeon at Fort 
Warren. He practiced medicine at Dublin, New Hamp- 
shire, two or three years. He also was in practice at 
Littleton and Ashby, a short time at each place. He came 
to West Townsend and began practicing medicine about 
1822. He was skilful, and had a large business, some- 
times riding long distances to consult with his medical 
brethren in difficult cases. He did not have good health 
all the time, and occasionally, through over-exertion and 
anxiety, his physical condition was such that he should 
have been a patient rather than a medical adviser. On 
the tenth of December, 1814, he married Rachel Kendall, 
of Miltbrd, New Hampshire. About 1835, he moved to 
Lowell, where he continued in the practice of his profes- 
sion, and where he died. 

Dr. John Bertram was a native of Peterborough, 
New Hampshire, born 1794. He took his medical degree 
at Dartmouth College in 1825. He was in practice in one 
of the towns of Hillsborough county, New Hampshire, 
with one. Dr. Farley, for about two years. He came to 
this town in 1827, and entered upon the duties of physician 
and surgeon at Townsend Centre. He died in December, 
1846. During the nineteen years in which he was in 


practice here, he obtained an extensive acquaintance, a 
good reputation, and the confidence of the community. 
He had many friends, and but few enemies. He married 
Mary, only daughter of Deacon Joel Adams. 

Dr. Ebenezer P. Hills was born in Newbury, 
1804. He fitted for college, but did not take a collegiate 
course of study. He studied medicine and took his medi- 
cal degree from Bowdoin College, in 1825, where he 
ranked well as a scholar. He came to Townsend Harbor 
and began practice there in 1825, and remained there 
in business about twenty 3'ears. 

He possessed more tiian ordinary natural abilities : 
was agreeable in his manners, fond of company, and en- 
joyed a good joke or a playful repartee. He spent the 
last part of his life at Shirle}- Centre, where he died in 
1854, ^^^ the fiftieth year of his age. He married (i) Ruth 
Perkins, of Lunenburg, in 1826 ; {2) Betsey Perkins, of 
Lunenburg, in 1828: (3) Sophia Gerrish, daughter of 
Paul Gerrish, Esq., of Townsend Harbor, in 1841. 

Dr. John Heard was born about 1810, in the state 
of Maine. In 1838, he took the degree of Bachelor of 
Medicine, at Dartmouth College. He practiced medicine 
at Acworth, Hopkinton, and Rindge, New Hampshire, 
and at Leominster and Townsend. He was at Townsend 
Centre most of the time from 1852 to 1861. He rode in 
good style, after a well-cared-for fast horse, the team con- 
stituting the greater part of his wealth. Mr. Stearns, the 
historian of Rindge, says of him : "It is probable that Dr. 
Heard was deficient neither in skill or natural abilit}' ; but 
his cynical manners and current conversation repelled the 
respect and confidence of the community." 


Dr. Augustus G. Stickney was born in Antrim, 
New Hampshire, 1807. He was the son of Dr. Jeremiah 
Stickney, who was a practicing physician in that town for 
many years. After acquiring a good academical educa- 
tion, he entered the Berkshire Medical College, at Pitts- 
tield, where he graduated as a Bachelor of Medicine, in 
1833. Dr. Stickney married Louise Wilson, of Antrim, 
in 1834, ^^d established himself in business, at West 
Townsend, the same year. He did a good share of the 
work required in this vicinity, and stood well with the 
members of the medical profession. He was admitted as 
a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, in 
1844. He died, August, 1862, much lamented and highly 

Dr. Royal B. Boynton was born in Pepperell, 
in 1836. While he was a student at Lawrence Academy, 
Groton, under James Means, principal, he was attacked 
with a severe inflammation of the ' eyes and partial loss of 
sight, at about the time he was finishing his preparatory 
studies, with the intention of entering college, one year in 
advance. For nearly a year he was almost entireh' unfit 
for study. Like many professional men, he took his turn 
as schoolmaster, to raise money to pay the expenses of an 
education ; abandoning the idea of a liberal education, he 
attended the Medical College, at Woodstock, Vermont, 
and took his degree from that institution, in 1852. He 
came to Townsend Centre, in 1853, and devoted a large 
part of his time to dentistry, in which business he was well 
patronized. Subsequently, he moved to West Townsend, 
where lie is still in practice. Lately he has laid aside his 
dentistry, and given his attention to the general duties of 
physician and surgeon, in which capacity he has many 
friends and mam- enemies. He is quite skilful, and has a 


large practice. He married Josephine Taft, November 12, 

Dr. Edward J. Donnell was born in Lynde- 
borough, New Hampshire, in 1835. He graduated at 
Appleton Academy, New Ipswich, New^ Hampshire. He 
spent most of the time for three years, after his graduation, 
with Dr. Marshall, of Mason Village, New Hampshire, 
in the study of medicine and surgery, in which pursuit he 
was engaged at the outbreak of the rebellion. He enlisted, 
in 1862, into the Fifteenth Regiment, New Hampshire 
Volunteers, Company C, in which he was second lieuten- 
ant. After this regiment was mustered out of service, he 
enlisted into the Thirteenth Maryland Infantry as assistant 
surgeon, in which capacity he served till the close of the 
war. His experience in this regiment was of great value 
to him. On his return to New Hampshire, in 1864, he 
immediately entered the medical department at Dartmouth 
College, and took his degree at that institution, in 1865. 
He commenced practice at Athol, and was there about tw^o 
years. He came to West Townsend, and entered upon 
the practice of medicine, in 1870, and continued until 
October, 1876, when he left for Kansas. He was a mem- 
ber of the New Hampshire Medical Societ}^ He married 
Ellen Prescott, of Mason, New Hampshire. 

Dr. Charles J. Towne was born in Stoddard, New 
Hampshire, in 1840. He was fond of his books when a 
child, and made rapid progress as a scholar. From the 
common school he went to the "Valley Seminary," a good 
institution, at Westmoreland,. New Hampshire, where, 
after a course of three years, he graduated, in 1857. He 
studied medicine with Dr. O. H. Bradle}', at East Jaffrey, 
New Hampshire, and afterward took a regular course of 


^itudy at the Colleg-e of Physicians and Surgeons, in the 
City of New York, where he graduated, in 1865. He 
settled in practice at Richmond, New Hampshire, and 
continued there about two years. In 1867, he moved to 
Townsend Centre, where he has remained to the present 
time. During his practice of ten years in this town, he 
has made a good record. He has generally been called 
the second time, and onward, after once making the ac- 
quaintance of a family. He responds at once to all calls 
for his services, no matter what the weather, distance to be 
travelled, or condition of the roads may be, and he keeps 
his appointments. October 23, 1868, he married Nancie 
Lewis, daughter of Benjamin F. Lewis, Esq. He is a 
modest man — seldom uses the perpendicular pronoun — 
keeps his own counsel and minds his own business. 

The following names comprise the list of the seven- 
teen Townsend men who graduated at college. It \\\\\ be 
noticed that their record is very creditable to the town : — 

John Hubbard, Dartmouth College, 1785. 
Abraham Butterfield, Dartmouth College, 1796. 
Daniel Adams, Dartmouth College, 1797. 
Joseph Walker, Bowdoin College, 1818. 
William Farmer, Harvard College, 1819. 
John Stevens, Middlebury College, 1821. 
Joel Giles, Harvard College, 1829. 
John Graham, Amherst College, 1829. 
John Giles, Harvard College, 1831. 
Charles Brooks, Yale College, 1853. 
Warren Brooks, Harvard College, 1855. 
Mark Davis, Dartmouth College, 1856. 
Charles T. Haynes, Amherst College, 1862. 
John M. Proctor, Dartmouth College, 1863. 
Randall Spaulding, Yale College, 1870. 
Eliel S. Ball, Dartmouth College, 1874. 
Wayland Spaijldin(;, Yale College, 1874. 


John Hubbard was the first person of this town who 
aspired to and received college honors. He was born in 
1759. Graduated at Dartmouth College, 1785. Died at 
Hanover, 1810, aged fifty-one. He worked on a farm till 
he arrived at majority, when he commenced fitting for 
college, and at the age of twenty-two entered Dartmouth. 
He studied theology after his graduation and commenced 
preaching, but found his voice too feeble for a public 
speaker. He was the first preceptor of New Ipswich 
Academy, from 1789 to 1795. and by his good management 
the academy was brought into public favor. In 1797, he 
was engaged as preceptor of Walpoie Academy. In 1798. 
he was appointed Judge of Probate for Cheshire Countv. 
New Hampshire, which ofiice he held till 1802, when he 
resigned. He was then chosen preceptor of Deerfield 
Academy, but on the death of one of the professors of 
Dartmouth College, he was elected to the vacant chair of 
Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, in that college, 
which office he held until his death. He was a man of 
much versatility of talent, an excellent mathematician, a 
good linguist and noted musician. During his professor- 
ship he was very popular with the graduating classes. In 
1803, he published "The Rudiments of Geography," and 
the "American Reader" in 1808. He wrote an essay on 
music, which was read before the Middlesex musical 
association, afterwards ordered to be printed. This Asso- 
ciation numbered among its members Rev. David Palmer, 
of Townsend, Rev. Daniel Chaplain, of Groton, Rev. 
John Bullard, of Pepperell, Rev. Ebenezer Hill, of Mason. 
Lowell Mason, and many others of the best musical talent 
and culture. "Hubbard's Anthems, Newburyport, 1814," 
was one of the favorite books of those times. 


This collection of tunes, compiled by John Hubbard, 
was used at all the ordinations, installations and thanks- 
givings for more than twenty-tive years. Hubbard was the 
author of one of the anthems, and his opinion was the law 
of this association. Every fashion has its time to flourish 
and then pass away, still those old tunes, sung and 
executed as they were, both for sublimity of movement 
and sweetness of melody, once heard, can never be for- 
gotten. Prof. Hubbard was of a genial disposition, 
enthusiastic in every enterprise in which he engaged. 
Perhaps one of his weak points was his excessive loudness 
for sacred music, on which he spent much time, it may be, 
at the expense of more solid and scholarly attainments. 
He died while he was professor, and was buried at Han- 
over, New Hampshire, highly respected b}^ the college 
officers and students, and beloved by a large circle of 
relatives and friends. Dartmouth has given to the world 
riper scholars and greater men, but not one has gone forth 
from her venerable halls with a keener sense of truth and 
duty, or who carried a better heart in his breast than John 

Abraham Butterfield was born in a house which 
stood near Pepperell line, in 1769. Graduated at Dart- 
mouth College, 1796. This graduate assisted his father 
on a farm, in the support of a large family, till he was 
twenty-one years of age, when he commenced titting for 
college. He earned most of the money expended for his 
education, by labor on a farm and district school-teaching. 
Soon after his graduation he commenced the study of law, 
teaching at the same time. There is no account, however, 
of his taking a degree from any law school, or that he 


was ever a practical lawyer. He was a successful teacher 
for a number of years, in Cambridge, and other places in 
the vicinity of Boston. In 1811, he was a major in the 
Massachusetts militia, and during the same year a member 
of the Massachusetts Legislature. 

He subsequently moved to Machiasport, Maine, where 
he engaged in the milling and lumber business. In 1830. 
he represented Machias in the Maine Legislature. He 
was a police magistrate, at Machiasport, for a long time, 
always holding one or more of the offices in the gift of the 
town. He was greatly interested in the cause of tem- 
perance and a zealous advocate of the so called "Maine 
Liquor Law." He spent the last years of his life, with 
one of his sons, at Bowdoinham, Maine, where he died, 
in 1857, aged eighty-eight. 

He was a quiet gentleman, his good judgment, his 
reticense and his perfect honesty, securing tor him that 
good name which is an honor to his memory, his native 
town, and his Alma Mater. 

Prominent among this interesting group of collegians. 
and deservedly so, is Daniel Adams, a grandson of one 
of the original proprietors of Town send. Born in 1773. 
graduated at Dartmouth College, 1797, and died at Keene, 
New Hampshire, in 1864, aged ninety-one years. His 
father was one of the tew men of this town, at that time, 
who possessed sufficient pecuniar\- means to educate a 
son at college. He received the degree of Doctor of 
Medicine, at Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1799. He 
married the only daughter of Dr. Mullikin, of Townsend. 
and located at Leominster, where he commenced as a 
practical physician. Leominster, like most large towns, 
joined in the funeral services in honor of Washington, in 


the winter of 1800, and Dr. Adams was chosen to deliver 
the eulog}-, which duty he performed in an impressive 
and eloquent manner. The town ordered the eulogy to 
be printed, and served to ever}- legal voter. In 1801, he 
engaged with Salmon Wilder, in publishing a weekly 
newspaper at Leominster, called "The Telescope." This 
publication continued about a 3'ear, when he conceived 
the idea of his "Scholars' Arithmetic," which caused the 
"Telescope" to be laid aside to give place to the new 
enterprise. "The Scholars' Arithmetic, Leominster, 1803," 
was received wnth much favor, and filled just the place 
in our district schools for which it was intended by its 
ingenious author. Pike's Arithmetic, used in the schools 
at that time, contained the advanced principles in the 
science, but was wanting in simplicity and adaptation to the 
minds of those who were able to attend school only a few 
weeks in the course of the year. Generally the teachers 
had a copy of Pike's Arithmetic, which was comparatively 
a costly book, which answered for the whole school. The 
"Scholars' Arithmetic," a first-class text book, containing 
all that is necessary for any business man to know of that 
science, fully equal, if not superior to any book of the 
kind now in use, and offered at a reasonable price, was 
received with great interest by all our common schools. 

Plis "Understanding Reader," and a treatise on 
Geography, were published in 1808. These two books 
were not so popular as his Arithmetic, although the 
Understanding Reader was used considerably. 

Dr. Adams went from Leominster to Boston, and 
engaged in teaching, where he remained for a few \ears, 
when, fmding his health begin to fail, he removed to the 
airy town of Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, and 


resumed the practice of medicine. This locality brought 
him in frequent contact with the celebrated Dr. Matthias 
Spaulding, of Amherst, New Hampshire, who scarcely 
had a peer in his profession. The most friendly relations 
existed between these men. They were the consulting 
physicians in that part of the state. Let it be remarked 
here, that Dr. Adams was eminently an intellectual man. 
He liked to investigate the cause of things, to lay open 
their hidden relations and affinities. Such an intellect 
may be compared to the head-light of a locomotive, that 
darts its rays far along the track. In 1822, he became a 
member of the New Hampshire Historical Society, and 
soon after, a member of the New Hampshire Medical 
Society, of which, at one time, he was president. 

From Mont Vernon he went to Keene, New Hamp- 
shire, where he prepared "Adams' New Arithmetic, 
Keene, 1828." This school book was considered, by good 
judges, as inferior to the "Scholars' Arithmetic." "The 
Monitorial Reader,'' published the last of any of his 
school books, was very favorably received by school com- 
mittees and educators. In scholarship, at Dartmouth, he 
ranked among the first third of his class, and was a 
member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. There was a 
semi-centennial meeting of his class at the commencement 
at Dartmouth College, in 1847, at which seven of the 
original thirty were in attendance. Three or four of this 
number had not seen each other during the fifty years. 
In a letter written to Rev. David Palmer, of this town, 
giving an account of the meeting. Dr. Adams regrets 
that Mr. Palmer was unable to be present. It appears 
that Phineas White, a member of the class of 1797, died 


in 1847. and these seven class-mates, at this their semi- 
centennial meeting, prepared and forwarded a letter of 
condolence to his widow. The letter to Mr. Palmer, 
describes all the particulars of this meeting, and contains 
a copy of the letter of condolence, giving the names of 
the seven signers thereto, all of which is very affecting. 
The Doctor, at the close of his letter to Mr. Palmer, adds 
this as a postscript: "After preparing the letter, we 
united with Brother Cabot, in a very affecting and fervent 
prayer ; when taking each other by the hand for the last 
time, we parted, crying like babies." 

We regret that our limits compel us to take leave of 
this graduate, whose life-work of ninety-one years was 
one continuity of good acts, not only in guiding the 
youthful mind in the acquisition of useful knowledge, in 
assisting the poor and the destitute, in soothing the dying, 
but in bequeathing to us, and especially to every one by 
the name of Adams, an exemplary character, worthy of 
lasting and affectionate remembrance. 

Joseph Walker was born on Bayberry Hill, in 
1792, graduated at Bowdoin College, in 1818. Mr. 
Walker, acquired his education without any pecuniary- 
assistance from any source, obtaining funds by teaching as 
he went along. In the course of his studies he evinced an 
enterprise and determination, which gave a color and char- 
acter to all his professional acts, well worthy of his puri- 
tan ancestry. Professor Packard, of Bowdoin, in answer 
to enquiries, says of him, "He was a good student, and 
held a good reputation for diligence, and lor a sound, 
discriminating mind. His commencement part was a 
'soliloquy," a part never before or since assigned with 


that designation. I supposed at the time it was so assigned 
on account of his reflective turn. He was, I know, 
greatly respected as a student and a man, his religious 
character being clearly decided. He studied theology with 
Rev. Dr. Payson, of Portland, Maine, and was afterwards 
settled as a pastor and preacher of the Orthodox Congre- 
gational denomination, at Norway, Maine." This synopsis 
of the character of Mr. Walker, b}^ a gentleman in col- 
lege with him, whose venerable form still graces the halls 
of learning and religion, is exceedingly valuable. During 
the most active part of Mr. Walker's ministry, strong and 
heated religious controversies were entered into by the 
clergy. The unitarians had just acquired ''a local habi- 
tation and a name," and the universalists marshalled their 
forces with consummate skill and ability under Balfour, 
Whittemore, Dean, and others. The difference of opinion 
concerning the method of baptism was another source of 
disagreement. In all these subjects of controversy, Mr. 
Walker took an active part. He published a pamphlet, 
with the title "Glance at Dean's 120 Reasons for being a 
Universalist, Portland, 1828," and another with the title, 
"Examination of the New Testament Evidence on Modes 
of Baptism, Portland, 1830." The "Glance at Dean's 
120 Reasons" shows an amount of scholarship, and keen 
discrimination, which must have convinced even Mr. 
Dean that "he had met a foeman worthy of his steel." 
His sermons were ably and logicalh' written, his ideas 
being expressed often in chaste and elegant diction, but 
his delivery and manner of address were awkward, and 
wanting in the graces of oratory. He died and was buried 
at Paris, Maine, in 185 1, aged tifty-nine years. 


William Farmer was the son of Jonas Farmer, 
born in the south part of the town, in 1793. Graduated 
at Harvard University, in 1819. He took his degree from 
the divinity school at Cambridge, in 1823, in the class 
with Rev. Ezra Styles Gannett, who lost his life, with 
others, in the fatal railroad collision, near Revere, in 187 1. 
William Farmer, with six of his brothers, all attended 
school on Bayberr}' Hill. These boys, in altitude, were 
of the a la Lincoln type, so much so that, on returning 
home from a visit to this school, Mr. Palmer remarked to 
his wife, that during the week forty-two feet of Farmers 
had been in attendance at this school. While fitting for 
college, this graduate w^as at New Ipswich Academy part 
of the time, and part of the time at Groton Academy. He 
studied for some time after this with Rev. Eli Smith, of 
Hollis, New Hampshire, but whether this was with a view 
of being a minister, without going to college, is unknown. 
It is quite certain, however, that the strongly marked cal- 
vinistic sentiments of Rev. Eli Smith were not in accord 
with the doctrines imparted at the Harvard divinitv school. 
He taught school tw^o or three years after acquiring his 
profession. In 1831, he was ordained over the Unitarian 
church, in Belgrade, Maine, where he remained about six 
years, when he resigned his pastoral charge. In 1838 and 
1839, ^^ supplied a Unitarian pulpit, in Dresden, Maine. 
He preached at Pomfret, Vermont, for about a year, and 
was in the same calling at Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, 
for a year or more. During the latter part of his life, he 
was an invalid for many years, suffering from pulmonary 
hemorrhage. His decline was gradual. He exhibited 
great patience during his illness, not a murmur or com- 
plaining word passing his lips. He departed hence, with 


Christian resignation, leaving a widow and man}' friends, 
in 1862, aged sixty-nine years. 

John Stevens was born on Battery Hill, in 1798. 
His ancestors came from England and settled in New- 
buryport, in 1638. He is a son of Solomon Stevens, 
who was the son of Solomon Stevens, who was the son of 
John Stevens, of Groton, one of the first proprietors of 
Mason, New Hampshire, and he was a descendant of 
John Stevens, one of the first settlers of Andover. In 
1815, an uncle of this graduate, who resided at Middle- 
bury, Vermont, being on a visit to the old homestead on 
Battery Hill, noticed young John, then about seventeen 
years old, and invited him to go home with him, and 
attend the Middlebury Academy with his son, a youth of 
about the same age, who was then fitting for college. 
This generous offer, so unexpectedly tendered to him was 
gladly accepted. He fitted in two years, at this academy, 
and graduated at Middlebury College, in 1821, with the 
Latin salutatory address, the second honor in a good class 
of twenty-three members. 

For the year 1822, he was the preceptor of the 
academ}', at Montpelier, Vermont. In 1823, he was a 
member of the junior class, in Andover Theological 
Seminary. In 1824, he was preceptor of New Ipswich 
Academ}-, and previous to 1830, he was for three years, 
tutor in Middlebury College. 

In 1831, he went to Ohio, under engagement to take 
the editorial chair of a new paper, at Cincinnati, called 
the "Baptist Weekly Journal of the Mississippi Valley." 
He was editor of this paper for seven years. From 1838 
to 1843, he was Professor of intellectual and moral 


philosophy, in Granville College, at Granville, Ohio. 
From 1843 to 1849, ^^^ ^''^^ district secretary and agent of 
the "American Baptist Missionary Union," residing again 
at Cincinnati. During the years 1857 and 1858, he was a 
teacher, in Fairmount Seminar}-, near Cincinnati. In 
1859, ^^ returned to Granville, as Professor of Greek 
and Latin languages in Dennison University, formerly 
Granville College, and so continued till 1868, when a 
separate Greek chair was established, and he was ap- 
pointed Professor of Latin and literature. It appears that 
he favored the baptist denomination even while a student 
at Andover Theological Seminary, as he joined the first 
baptist church in Salem, Rev. S. Bolles, D. D., pastor, 
in 1823. His religious life and labors have been spent 
among the baptists. He was ordained as an evangelist, 
in 1844, in connection with his agency and secretaryship 
in the cause of missions. In 1873, the degree of D. D. 
was conferred upon him, by the Rochester, New York, 
University. Professor Stevens has discharged the several 
duties committed to his trust, in a dignified, faithful and 
scholarly manner. Probably his influence, in giving 
character and a high moral position to Dennison Univer- 
sity, has been as great as that of any one man. This 
institution, under the patronage of the baptists, has a 
pleasant and healthful location, at Granville, Ohio. It is 
in a community distinguished for intelligence and moralitv, 
and maintains a reputation that will compare favorabh' 
with some of the older colleges situated in the Eastern 
States, sending " forth a good influence coextensive with 
the Mississippi valle}-. And now when we turn to 
contemplate the character of Professor Stevens, we behold 
an aflTectionate husband and father, a warm-hearted friend. 


an eminently industrious and accurate classical scholar, a 
taithtul and successful teacher, and a modest christian 
gentleman. He died at Granville, Ohio, in April, 1877. 

John Graham was born on Nissequassick Hill, in 
1802, graduated at Aniherst College, in 1829, died in 1833. 
aged thirt3'-one years. During the year 1816, there was 
an unusual religious excitement in town, particularly in 
the North End district. Several young persons related 
their religious experience, at the meetings held at their 
school-house, and among those was John Graham, then 
about fourteen years old. Soon after, he, in company 
with some twenty others, made a public profession of their 
faith, and united with the church of which Rev. David 
Palmer was pastor. From that time he ardentlv wished 
to be a gospel minister, all his hopes and plans looking to 
and aiming at that devoutly wished for consummation. 
Unlike many collegians, he knew on the start what calling 
he would pursue on entering active life. He commenced 
his preparatory studies with Mr. Palmer, but spent more 
than a year at New Ipswich Academy, before entering at 
Amherst. Although he industriously applied himself, as 
much as his health would allow, he did not take high rank 
in scholarship at college. After his graduation, and while 
teaching at Concord, he studied theology with Rev. Mr. 
Southmaid, who was preaching there at that time. He was 
in attendance at the theological department of Yale 
College for some time, with the intention of finishing his 
studies there, but his health failing he was obliged to 
leave. In 1831, he went to Charleston, South Carolina, 
where he remained about a year and a half, preaching- 
part of the time, and teaching some. Not finding the 


location so beneficial to his health as he expected, he 
returned to his father's home, and in a few weeks died 
there, of pulmonary consumption. Like too many others, 
he never fully realized the high hopes and yearning 
aspirations of his youth, which urged him on in the 
acquirement of the important and sacred profession of his 
choice. His best eulogy is spoken when we assert, that, 
after adopting the calling to which he aspired with his 
whole heart, he performed every duty incumbent on him, 
with marked sincerity and faithfulness, through the re- 
mainder of his life, until he arrived at that ''inevitable 
hour" when he crossed the peaceful river, with his eyes 
triumphantly fixed on the shining gates of the "celestial 

Joel Giles was born on Nissequassick Hill, in 
1804, fitted for college with Rev. David Palmer, and 
graduated at Harvard University, in 1829. Edward 
Giles, the earliest American ancestor of that part of the 
numerous Giles family to which our graduate belongs, 
came from Salisbury, in Wiltshire, England, to the colony 
of Massachusetts Bay, in 1633, ^^'^ settled in what is now 
the town of Peabody. Giles is a name familiar to readers 
of English history. The honors of knighthood have been 
enjoyed by at least three of that name, and their coat-of- 
arms has come down from unquestionable antiquity. The 
subject of this sketch needs no ancestral renown to recom- 
mend him to our confidence, and we venture the opinion 
that he holds the stern virtues of the Pilgrim Fathers, from 
whicli he is descended, in much higher regard than all 
the sprigs of chivalry that ever blossomed on his genea- 
logical tree. From 1831 to 1834, ^'^^ ^^'^^ tutor, in Harvard 

drrt^ ^p^^ 


University. The degree of Bachelor of Laws was con- 
ferred on him by the same institution, in 1837. He opened 
a law office, in Boston, and became distinguished in his 
profession. He never acquired notoriety as a jury lawyer 
or advocate, but whenever the Boston merchants wanted 
to know about any point where their legal interests were in 
jeopardy, Joel Giles was the man whom they would con- 
sult for an opinion, and he would furnish the brain-work 
to be elaborated in the oratory of an associate. He was 
appreciated by the entire bar of Suffolk County, for his 
legal and judicial ability. On the Fourth of July, 1848, 
he delivered the oration before the municipal authorities 
of the City of Boston. He has been a member of both 
branches of the Massachusetts Legislature, for Boston, 
and in 1853, he was a prominent member of the Massa- 
chusetts Constitutional Convention. During the last few 
years, he has divided the time which he has devoted to 
business, between the cities of Boston, New York, and 
Washington, as a patent-office lawyer. Mr. Giles is a 
bachelor, a gentleman of benevolence, rather conservative 
in his tastes, and withal an honest man, which is "the 
noblest work of God." 

John Giles, the youngest brother of the last de- 
scribed graduate, was born on Nissequassick Hill, in 1806. 
He also fitted for college with Rev. David Palmer, who 
said he was the best scholar that ever fitted for college 
with him. He required the least assistance and prompt- 
ing, both while in preparation for, and at the University, 
of any in his class. The difficult parts and knotty points, 
in all his lessons, were always overcome and solved before 


he entered the recitation room. He possessed a vvell- 
bahmced, penetrating mind, well adapted to either lan- 
guages or mathematics, so that he went through his 
collegiate career in a manner calculated to give him excel- 
lent mental discipline. Before graduating at Cambridge, 
he united with the Congregational Orthodox Church, in 
Cambridgeport, under the pastoral care of Rev. William 
A. Stearns, D. D., now president of Amherst College. He 
was pleasing in his manners, and prepossessing in his 
person, having an agreeable temper, and a heart "full of 
the law of kindness." John Giles aimed high. He in- 
tended to have been an author. He did publish a book, 
of much merit in its way, entitled "The Latin Reader for 
Beginners." He was a successful teacher, at Jamaica 
Plain, for some time, and he read law in the office of the 
noted legal firm of Parsons & Stearns, in Boston. Soon 
after his graduation, he was attacked with a disease of the 
lungs, which finally caused his death. This incapacitated 
him for any mental labor during a period of five or six 
years. He died at the house of his brother. Deacon 
Daniel Giles, in Townsend, June, 1838, aged thirty-two 

In addition to what has been said concerning his 
intellectual strength, we may add that his moral and 
religious life was everything that a truly good man would 
wish to review, at that tr3'ing hour, when about to leave 
this earthly existence. His older brothers, Daniel and 
Joel, were the only members of his kindred, in this town, 
who survived him. Daniel has since died, but Joel re- 
mains, the only one of the name, of Townsend birth, who 
now, at the age of more than three score and ten, and after 
the lapse of thirty-nine years, frequently recurs to the 


untimely death of his brother, and with a sigh thinks of 
"what might have been." 

Charles Brooks was born on Nissequassick Hill, in 
1831. Graduated at Yale College, in 1853, died in 1866, 
aged thirty-five years. He pursued his preparatory studies 
with the ministerial office in full view before him. He 
learned the languages easily, so much so, that he received 
many compliments from the president and professors, at 
Yale, where he took a good rank in his class. After his 
graduation, he commenced the study of divinity, at Yale, 
but spent the last year of the course at Andover Theologi- 
cal Seminary. In 1858, he was ordained over the church 
and society, at Byfield, a parish in the old town of New- 
bury. He married, in 1858, Miss N. L. Adams, of this 

After remaining at Bytield about seven years, where 
he was a very acceptable preacher, he received a call 
from the church at Unionville, Connecticut, which he 
accepted. He had scarcely commenced the discharge of 
his duties in his new situation, when in September, 1865, 
he was attacked with pulmonary consumption, which 
caused his death, in Jane, 1866. In person. Rev. Mr. 
Brooks was medium size, light hair, (almost flaxen,) a 
good eye, which sparkled in a countenance lighted up 
with a smile for all who approached him. He never was 
contentious, either as a student, citizen or clergyman, 
never intentionally injured the feelings of anv one, and 
never preached politics. Rev. S. H. Tolman, of Wil- 
mington, in an obituary address, said of Mr. Brooks, "He 
telt the disappointment of so early a departure verv 


keenly.'' Said he to Mr. Tolman : "I have all the 
feelings of a husband and a father, a young man and a 
minister. I love this good work, and the future in that 
tield whither God in his providence has so recently sent 
me, opens before me so bright, with such promise of 
sheaves to be garnered into the heavenly store-house," — he 
hesitated a little and then said, "but it is all right — I have 
more confidence in God's wisdom than my own. Thy 
will, not mine, be done." Of his last days, Mr. Tolman 
says : "He manifested just that sweet confidence in God, 
just that calm and intelligent resting on the doctrines of 
the gospel, which constituted a most fitting end to all that 
he had been, and preached and done." Nothing can be 
added to these closing words of the obituary, except, 
perhaps it may be remarked in the words of another, 
that "God buries his workman, but still carries on the 

Warren Brooks, a brother of Charles Brooks, 
(just described,) was born in 1829. He entered Yale 
College, in 1851, and remained there till his brother's 
graduation, in 1853, when he left Yale, and joined the 
junior class at Harvard University, where he graduated, 
in 1855. In scholarship, he ranked in the first fourth of 
his class, which was large, and contained some excellent 
scholars. Rev. Phillips Brooks, the popular Boston 
preacher, was one of his classmates and friends. In 
September, 1855, he entered Andover Theological Semi- 
nary, and while a member of that institution, in 1857, he 
died of consumption, induced by too close application to 
his studies, aged twenty-eight years. Rather taciturn 


than loquacious, he possessed great modesty and a sensi- 
tive retiracy of character, which won for him the respect- 
ful consideration of all with whom he came in contact. 
He devoted no time to idleness. From boyhood, either 
his hands, his brains, or both were incessantly at work. 
While pursuing his studies, he earned most of his ex- 
penses by teaching in our common schools, in which he 
had complete success. He had that agreeableness and 
dignity of address, which added embellishment both to 
culture and refinement. For his piety and purity of 
character, as well as his untiring industry both as student 
and teacher, he has left an example worth}- of imitation. 

Mark Davis was born in 1834, "^^'ithin a short dis- 
tance of the birthplace of the two gentlemen last described. 
They were school-mates. Mr. Davis fitted for college 
partly in this town, besides spending more than a vear at 
New Ipswich Academy. Townsend had an academy at 
that time. The natural brain powers of this graduate 
were superior, which, together with his prepossessing- 
personal appearance, made him a general favorite in 
circles where wit and playful repartee went gayly round. 
He was "Young America" in his tastes and habits, and 
was decidedly popular with his professional and political 
associates. Professor E. D. Sanborn, of the chair of 
oratory and belles-lettres, in Dartmouth College, where Mr. 
Davis graduated, in 1856, in answer to a letter of inquiry, 
turnishes the following sentence: "Mr. Davis was a man 
of good abilities, and capable of high attainments, but 
unfortunately declined in scholarship towards the close of 
his college course." He received the degree of Bachelor 


of Laws, at Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1858. Soon 
after, he commenced the practice of hiw, in Boston, where 
he acquired a respectable standing in his profession. 
Having a good knowledge of human nature and a quick- 
ness of apprehension, excelled by none, he was well 
adapted to the law^ business. He w^as rather a prominent 
member of the republican party, and during his last ill- 
ness took great interest in the news from the seat of w^ar, 
in which treason was pitted against loyalty, freedom 
against slavery, and he had the pleasure of living long- 
enough to hear the ringing of the bells and the roaring 
of the cannon, which announced that the rebellion was 
crushed — that the flag of many stars was the revered em- 
blem of an unbroken and restored nationality. After 
being in business about three years he was taken with 
consumption. He resorted to every means know to science 
to regain his health. He went to New Orleans, hoping 
that a change of climate might be in his favor, from 
whence he returned to the old homestead, then his 
brother's house, located in full view of the school-house 
where he and his comrades vied for the head of the class, 
where after much suffering he died, in 1865, aged thirt}'- 
one years. 

Sweet is home; "and dear the school-boy spot 
We ne'er forg'et though there we are foi'orot." 

Charles T. Haynes was born on Nissequassick 
Hill, in 1835. He graduated at Appleton Academy, 
New Ipswich, New Hampshire, in 1858: and gradu- 
ated at Amherst College, in 1862. He studied tlie- 
ology, at Andover. during 1863 and 1864, and was then 


compelled to abandon his purpose of becoming a min- 
ister, on account of sickness. He resided in Townsend. 
till 1868, when, finding his health sutficiently estab- 
lished, he embraced the profession of teacher. He 
was principal of the high school, at Edgartown. from 
1868 to 1870. He was teacher of mathematics in High- 
land Military Academy, at Worcester, part of the year 
1870, which place he left to take charge of the high 
school, in Webster, where he remained till April, 1872. 
He then returned to Worcester, and from that time to the 
present, he has been principal of the Lamartine School, 
in that city, w^here he ranks high as an educator. He 
married Sybel Wallace, of this town, in 1870. A member 
of his class in college, thus writes of him : "While faithful 
in everything, he never took high rank as a scholar, 
standing about midway in a large class, containing an 
unusual number of good scholars. He particularly ex- 
celled in mathematics, while the languages were ditficult 
for him. As a writer, he stood high, and was chosen h\ 
the class their prophet. In this capacity he did not in the 
least disappoint their expectations, for his prophecv was 
one of the wittiest, brightest, and most kindlv, ever de- 
livered in Amherst." Mr. Haynes, through the vear 
previous to leaving town, served on the school committee, 
in a manner both profitable to the schools and acceptable 
to his colleagues. As a teacher, he excels in seeing intui- 
tively that upon which the pupil blunders, and then by a 
word or two, helps the scholar to help himself. Above all 
these attainments, which have been enumerated, either by 
his classmate or the writer, stands out in bold relief 
an influential, unblemished and exemplary character. 


compared with which, schohirship, rank or fame are 
as nothing. 

Long may he live to adorn that profession which fur- 
nishes to our youth that full mental equipment, which will 
enable them, in after years, to give battle against every sin 
and wrong, with which they will be surrounded. 

John M. Proctor, son of Deacon John Proctor, 
was born in the east part of the town, in 1839, and gradu- 
ated at Dartmouth College, in 1863. He fitted for college, 
at Lawrence Academy, Groton, from whence, for his 
strict attention to his own business, he carried away the 
best wishes of his classmates, and the blessings of his 
teachers. At college he found the benefit of his diligence 
at Groton, tor he took a good rank in his class, through 
the entire college course. He was a member of the Phi 
Beta Kappa Society. In 1862, during the war excitement, 
a member of his class, from Wakefield, New Hampshire, 
on offering his services to his country, was appointed 
adjutant of the Ninth New Hampshire Regiment. Before 
leaving the state, however, he was taken sick and died ; 
whereupon, b}- appointment of his class, Mr. Proctor 
pronounced an appropriate eulogy, on the life and charac- 
ter of this volunteer, before the college faculty and 
students. The eulogy, printed at Hanover, New Hamp- 
shire, by order of the students, is an honor to its author. 
For the kindly and feeling w^ords spoken of his friend : 
for its fitness to the occasion : for its manliness and patriot- 
ism, it was happily received by his auditors, and must have 
been read with deep interest by the bereaved relatives of 
the deceased. Prof. John Carroll Proctor, of the Greek 


chair in Dartmouth, thus writes : "John M. Proctor was 
among the best scholars in his class, quiet, but ver}- 
decided in his opinions, a good writer and speaker." He 
might have added, with equal justice, that he was a good 
thinker and debater. He spent some time stud3"ing law, 
and undoubtedly he intended to be a lawyer. In 1865, he 
was appointed principal of the "Moravian Institute,'' an 
advanced school, charmingly situated near Geneva Lake, 
in the state of New York. At the close of the first term of 
the second year of his engagement, in 1866, on account 
of ill health, he resigned his position and returned to his 
father's house, where, after a confinement to his room, of 
about two months, he died of pneumonia, aged twenty- 
six years. 

No better close to the sketch of this graduate can be 
made, than his own language, applied to the voung 
volunteer, which was as follows : " We turn with pleasure 
on an occasion like this, from the contemplation of mere 
intellectual qualities, to recall those richer endowments of 
the heart and affections, so eminently charactei'istic of 
our deceased classmate. The fonmer may, indeed, be 
forgotten : but the latter will never perish from our 
remembrance. Intellectual ability of acknowledged merit 
we ma}^ recognize in the streets, and in the highways of 
life ; but the genial companion and true friend is rare 
indeed. When we consider the talent of our departed 
brother, we may confess to a feeling of pride — he was 
our classmate and a man of ability, but when we reflect 
upon his social virtues, his unselfish disposition, his 
sympathetic nature and manl\- character, we are dissolved 
in tears." 


Randall Spaulding was born near Tovvnsend 
Harbor, in 1845. Graduated at Yale College, in 1870, 
with the rank of fourteenth, in a class of one hundred 
and twenty students. Soon after his graduation, he re- 
ceived the appointment of head master of the high school, 
at Rockville, Connecticut, where he remained about 
three years, when, wishing for a broader culture, and 
desirous of securing the advantages of travel, he resigned 
his position, in September, 1873, went to Europe, and 
passed a year in Germany, in finishing his studies. 
From his boyhood, he has had the profession of teacher 
in view. He is at present, principal of the high school, 
at Montclair, New Jersey, fifteen miles from New York 
City, by the way of Jersey City Ferry, and Morris & 
Essex Railroad, and one of the most aristocratic suburban 
settlements. The good people of Montclair, New Jersey, 
claim that they are in possession of the most elegant 
private residences, the most ample school buildings, and 
in the person of Mr. Spaulding, the best teacher in the 
state. He is now thirty-two years old, well adapted 
to his calling, enterprising, having self-reliance without 
egotism, and genuine scholarship without ostentation. 
He married Florence A. Chapman. 

Eliel S. Ball was born at Townsend Centre, in 
1848. Graduated at Lawrence Academy, in 1869, and 
at Dartmouth College, in 1874. This gentleman, since 
his graduation, has been a teacher at Lawrence Academy. 
Through both his academic and collegiate course, he was 
higlily respected as a student and a gentleman. He has 
that executive abilitv, self-control, and readv command of 


his learning, which eminently lit him for the profession 
upon which he has entered. At college, in scholarship, 
he ranked in the first third of his class. The commence- 
ment part assigned him was an English oration, entitled 
"The conflict of creeds with popular education." In his 
record, thus far, from his excellent acquirements and his 
strict conformity to every filial and moral duty, his friends 
may reasonably expect that pure motives and dignified 
actions "will ever keep the Ball in motion." He is, at 
present (1878), the principal of this Lawrence Academy, 
and is well qualified to fill the chair, once occupied by 
William M. Richardson, Caleb Butler, Asa F. Lawrence, 
and others, who ranked high among educators. On the 
fourth day of August, 1875, ^^t? married Ella F. Sawin, of 

Wayland Spaulding was born September 26, 1850. 
Graduated at Williston Seminary, Easthampton, in 1870, 
and at Yale College, in 1874. ^^^s rank at Yale, in a 
class of one hundred and eighteen, was the tenth, leaving 
one hundred and eight students who were not his peers. 
His class picture indicates a large amount of vital force, a 
clearness of perception, a skill in the use of languages, 
and a thorough mental discipline, all of which are indis- 
pensable to a good public speaker. Before he had seen 
his twenty-fourth birthday he was appointed principal of 
the high school at Rockville, Connecticut, where his 
brother taught just after his graduation. There are about 
six hundred scholars in this school. During the three 
years which have passed since he was at the head of this 
institution, he has given entire satisfaction to the people of 


the enterprising town of Rockville. He married. De- 
cember 31. 1874, Mary A. Peck. 

Six of the seventeen graduates from this town, came 
from three families : Two brothers from each, Joel and 
John Giles, Warren and Charles Brooks, and Randall and 
Wayland Spaulding. 



Samuel Stone— Ralph Warren — James N. Tucker — James Hosley 
—Walter Hastings — John Spaulding- — Levi Wallace— Stillman 
Hayiies — The Warrens. 

The most prominent traders in Townsend, whose 
names have not previously appeared in this work, are the 
following : Charles Osgood, and William P, Taylor, 
both of whom have recently retired partially from business. 
at the central village ; Edmund A. Shattuck, at West 
Townsend ; and Charles Emery, at Townsend Harbor. 
These gentlemen are all well known to the present 
generation. Most of them have done a successful business 
in this town for the last quarter of a century. 

From 1830, and onward for about live years, Giles & 
Jewett (Daniel Giles and Solomon Jewett,) were copart- 
ners in trade at the brick store in Townsend Centre. Mr. 
Jewett died in the prime of lite. He was an enterprising, 
go-ahead man. On the death of Mr. Jew^ett, Mr. Giles 
received Samuel Adams as a partner, who remained onlv 
a short time in trade with him. When Mr. Samuel 
Adams retired, Daniel Adams associated himself with Mr. 
Giles, in business, under the name and style of Giles & 
Adams. About 1847. Mr. Giles disposed of his interest 


in the business, to Mr. Adams, and he continued the 
business alone, till about 1849, when William P. Taylor 
I'oined him in partnership. 

Samuel Stone was one of the most successful traders 
in Townsend, known to the writer. He was the son of 
Lieut. Samuel Stone, born August 17, 1779. After ac- 
quiring all the education afforded by the common school, 
he went into a store in Charlestown, as a clerk, remaining 
there long enough to learn the routine of business, and 
forming a mercantile acquaintance so that he had acquired 
a sum of money, which, added to his credit, he considered 
sufficient to commence business for himself. He returned 
to Townsend and opened a store in a small wooden build- 
ing, which stood on the corner at the south side of the 
common, near where the post-office now is. His business 
increased, and he went on accumulating property. On 
the twenty-first day of March, 1809, he married Lucy 
Wheeler, of Mason, New Hampshire. Finding the build- 
ing, in which he commenced business, too small, he 
bought the real estate where it stood, and erected the 
present brick store at that location. The ample and taste- 
ful brick dwelling-house, now standing on the opposite 
corner, was also built by Mr. Stone, for his own home. 
He was extensively known and patronized in his business, 
so that, considering the time in which he lived, he acquired 
a large property. He became a member of the orthodox 
church about 1816, and contributed liberally to the support 
of that institution, besides subscribing live hundred dollars 
towards the erection of the brick church edifice. Being 
considerably corpulent, trom extra exertion in assisting 
his workmen in the hav-tield, he became so surfeited and 


heated that he died, rather suddenh*, on the twenty-ninth 
dav of August, 1830. Having no children, the question 
with him was, how to dispose of his property, when he 
found he was near the end of his earthh" pilgrimage. 
His will, drawn by Dea. Joel Adams, one of his particular 
friends, was so peculiar, that a short notice of it in this 
place, may be acceptable to the reader. 

Before the Supreme Judicial Court, in a friendl}' w ay, 
by an agreement of facts, it appeared, that Samuel Stone, 
on August 7, 1830, being seized of certain demanded 
premises, made his will, which was duly proved, Sep- 
tember 28, 1830, and in which, after devising certain 
real and personal property to his wife, he made the 
following devise : — 

"I give and bequeath all the residue of my estate, both 
real and personal, of whatever name or nature soever, or 
wherever said property may be found, to the cause of 
Christ, for the benefit and promotion of true evangelical 
piety and religion. And I do order and direct my execu- 
tor hereafter named and appointed, to collect all the above 
last specified property, as soon as can be done consistently 
without sacrificing too much by forcing the sale thereof in 
an improper manner, not however to exceed the term of 
five years, and pay over the same unto Rev. John Todd, 
of Groton, Rev. James C. How, of Pepperell, Rev. 
Phillips Payson, of Leominster, and Rev. Rufus Putnam, 
of Fitchburg, preserving a reasonable sum to compensate 
him for his trouble,) placing full confidence in their piety, 
judgment and integrity, immediately to be by them sa- 
credly appropriated to the cause of religion as above 
stated, to be distributed in such divisions and to such 
societies and religious charitable purposes, as they may 
think fit and proper." 


It appeared that the testator appointed Joel Adams, 
his executor ; that Mr. Adams, having accepted the trust, 
entered upon the demanded premises, and on November 
17, 1831, conveyed them to the demandant: and that the 
tenant claimed, as one of the five heirs-at-law of the 

It further appeared that the property of the testator 
amounted to about the sum of $21,000; that the personal 
estate, exclusive of that bequeathed to his wife, amounted 
to $10,000 ; and that the real estate, which would pass by 
the residuary clause, was of the value of between $4,000 
and $5,000. 

John P. Robinson appeared and argued the case for 
the tenant (John Emery), and George F. Farley for the 
demandant (Eliab Going). The vagueness and uncer- 
tainty, in regard to the manner in which the donation was 
to be disposed of, was urged by the counsel opposed to the 
will. He argued that, 'TIpon the death of the testator, 
the real estate descended to the heirs ; for it is not given to 
the executor, nor to Messrs. Todd and others, either for 
their own use, or in trust, but 'to the cause of Christ.'" 
And again, "The absence of a court of chancery in this 
Commonwealth, to compel the execution of trusts for such 
vague and indefinite purposes, is a reason why such 
donations as have been held valid by the court of chancery 
in England, should not be held valid here." 

Chief Justice Shaw delivered the opinion of the court, 
of which the following is the closing part : — 

"In all tlie cases of charitable uses, or nearly all, the 
persons ultimately to be benefitted by the donation are mi- 
certain. The heathen of foreign lands, in case of Bartlett 
z'5. King, were the ultimate objects of the donor's bounty; 


but of what foreign country, when, how, and to what 
amount, with all the particular details, were left uncertain, 
in all other respects than this, that the testator reposed con- 
fidence in the trustees, a confidence earned by their known 
character for fidelity and judgment, that they would ap- 
propriate the money in such manner as to accomplish his 
intention. This was held sufficient to obviate the objec- 
tion of vagueness and uncertaintv- 

"We are of opinion that the present case falls within 
the same principle : the donees are particularly designated, 
the trust is clear, the general objects sufficiently indicated 
to bind the consciences of the trustees, and to render them 
liable in equity to account for the execution of this trust, 
by a suit to be instituted in the name of the attorney- 
general, representing the public ; and that these objects are 
sufficiently certain and definite to be carried into effect, 
according to the established principles of law and 
equity, governing donations to charitable uses. 

Tenant defaulted.'" 

The property of this testator was disbursed, in part, 
by these four ministers, as follows : To different mis- 
sionary objects, $5,000; Gilmanton Academy, $i,ooo; 
Marietta College, $; Wabash College, $i,ioo; East 
Windsor Theological Seminary, $2,000; Amherst Col- 
lege, $1,000. There were several other gifts, in small 
sums, to different churches and societies. No further 
record or account of the manner in which the balance of 
the property was expended is to be found. The executor 
put the money derived from the sale of the property into 
the hands of these men. No executor's account is to be 
found at the Probate Office, and the information in regard 
to the manner in which the property was distributed is 


derived from Miss Caroline Wright, the adopted daughter 
of the testator. Miss Wright is a lady of excellent mind 
and good memory. 

Ralph Warren, son of Aaron Warren, Esq., was 
born in 1800, at West Tovvnsend, in a cottage house 
which stood where the present family residence is located. 
Being an only son, his boyhood was guided by a kind and 
generous father, yet a strict disciplinarian, and a good 
mother, with puritanical religious principles. He acquired 
his education at the common school, together with the 
advantage of a limited attendance at Lawrence Academv. 
Leaving school he took the position of clerk in his father's 
store, discharging its duties with so much care and ability, 
that the details of the business were left principally to his 
supervision, while his father was away on business or at 
the consecutive sessions of the General Court. In May. 
1823, he married Betsey Sherwin, an amiable woman, 
who will lony; be remembered with tender recfard bv all 


who knew her. About that time he moved to Boston, and 
went into business, where he remained about two years, 
when he returned to West Townsend, and associated 
himself in business with his lather, in the firm of Aaron 
Warren & Son. This firm continued several vears in 
business. On the retirement of his father, he formed a 
copartnership with Daniel Bolls, his brother-in-law, but 
this firm was soon dissolved ; and he continued the busi- 
ness without any partner for se\'eral vears. 

About the time he was most successful in trade, the 
traffic in spirituous liquors was the most profitable part of 
the business of a country store-keeper. The sale of 
liquors was as common then as the sale of tlour at the 




present time. When the Washingtonian temperance 
movement appeared he abandoned the sale of ardent 
spirits, and solicited other traders to follow his example, 
braving the obloquy of public opinion. He interested 
himself in the improvements going forward in his native 
village, was one of the patrons of the building of the 
Baptist meeting-house, and Female Seminary, was a 
trustee and treasurer of the seminary tor a number of 
years. He solicited subscriptions to the stock of the 
Peterborough & Shirley Railroad ; and was deeply inter- 
ested in the success of that enterprise. About thirty years 
previous to his death, he gave up business in Townsend 
and went into trade in Boston, keeping his residence in 
Townsend ; and for twenty years his dail}^ presence on the 
morning and evening trains of cars was remarked. He 
was a man "diligent in business," kind-hearted, temper- 
ate, and generous, besides being strongly attached to his 
family, in the presence of which, he passed his happiest 
hours. He gave liberally towards the support of the 
baptist denomination and was a constant attendant on its 
services ; and, although he never united with the church, 
his current conversation and blameless life comported with 
the teachings of the Great Master. He died in 1873, 
leaving one daughter and four sons. 

James N. Tucker, Esc^, was born in Brookline. 
New Hampshire, May 20, 1811. Although his advan- 
tages for learning were limited to the common school, he 
acquired a very good education. His mother, noticing 
his fancy for trading while he was a boy, predicted that 
he would sometime be a rich man. All his thoughts and 
tastes in boyhood looked tbrward to a mercantile life. He 


married Rosella Jewett, on the twenty -fifth day of Decem- 
ber, 1835. I" the fall of 1836, he opened a store at West 
Townsend, and continued there, in trade, about three 
years. At that time, his cash capital was rather limited, 
but his credit was good, and he withstood the financial 
crash of 1837 and 1838. During the time he was at West 
Townsend, he did a profitable business. In 1839, ^e 
moved to Brookline, New Hampshire, his native town, 
where he built a very convenient store, and commenced 
the coopering business, employing from forty to fifty men, 
and paying them, as much as he could, in goods from his 
store. This was also a success to him. He was in trade 
at Brookline, about four years, when he sold out his busi- 
ness and moved to East Pepperell, where he was in trade 
only a short dme, when he returned to Brookline, New 
Hampshire, and retired from business. He moved to 
West Townsend, in 1853, and has remained here since that 
time, except a temporary residence in Boston, during 
1876 and 1877. While at Brookline, he was postmaster 
under two different administrations, and he represented 
that town in the New Hampshire Legislature, during the 
years 1851 and 1852. He has invariably acted with the 
republican party. 

In 1854, ^^1^6" die Townsend Bank went into opera- 
tion, he was chosen one of the directors, which office he 
has held ever since. He was a notary public several 
>'ears, and one of the selectmen and assessors of Town- 
send, in 1864. For more than twenty-five years, he did 
nearl}- all the conveyancing and business required of a 
justice of the peace, at West Townsend. In 1864, in 
company with Walter Fessenden, he went to Europe, and 
\isited IJK' most important cities of England, Holland. 



^ ^^^t^^e^/fjA^^ 


Germany, Switzerland, France, and Scotland. On the 
twenty-fourth of June, 1875, he married, for a second wife, 
Mrs. Martha A. Coburn. 

James Hosley. The most prominent and influential 
among "the old heads" during the revolutionary war, and 
the best balanced man, in all respects, was James Hosley, 
who was born in this town, in 1734. The antecedents of 
his father are unknown to the writer, but the fact that he 
had a large family, and that all of its members were quite 
respectable, goes to show that he paid special attention to 
their moral and intellectual as well as their religious train- 
ing. His father's name was James Hoslev. There is 
nothing in the town records about schools, till young 
Hosley was more than twelve years old, so that probablv 
he was thoroughly taught at his home fireside, by his 
parents, in orthography, reading, writing and arithmetic, 
to reverence the Deity, and to honor the king. 

On his arrival at manhood, he held all the offices in 
the gift of his fellow-citizens, although he was never a 
demagogue or office seeker. The church recognized his 
amiable and worth}- character, by electing him deacon. 
In 1766, he was first chosen to serve on the board of 
selectmen, consisting of five members, all capable and 
enterprising men. From 1770 to 1781, he was either 
moderator, town clerk, one of the selectmen, or on a war 
committee, every year. In 1775, he was moderator at the 
annual town meeting, town clerk, chairman of the select- 
men, and captain of the alarm list or minute-men. In 
1776, when Brigadier-General Oliver Prescott reorganized 
the Middlesex countv militia, the officers for this town 


were : James Hosley, captain : Peter Butterficld, tirst 
lieutenant; Benjamin Ball, second lieutenant. 

In September, 1777, the General Court passed a resolve 
calling for volunteers to go to the assistance of General 
Gates, who was confronting Burgoyne, at Saratoga. This 
call received an enthusiastic response from the men of old 
Middlesex county. Seventy men, forming one company, 
belonging to Pepperell, Townsend and Ashby, were soon 
in readiness to march. On assembling for the choice of 
officers, James Hosley was unanimously chosen captain. 
By reference to the revolutionary rolls, copied in this 
work, it well be seen that Col. William Prescott, and 
other military men of ability and notoriety, were in 
Captain Hosley's company. The estimation in which he 
was held as a military man, can be better understood from 
this position, tendered to him so unexpectedly, than in any 
other way. Prescott and Wood, or Major Stone, would 
never have been subordinate to any man unless he honored 
the office to which he had been elevated. 

He was chosen representative to the General Court, 
in 1787, but he declined the office, and Daniel Adams was 
chosen to fill that position. He was a modest man, never 
dictatorial, courteous and obliging in his intercourse with 
his townsmen and neighbors. There is no record of his 
death to be found, either in any well-read old family bible 
or on any tombstone. Time has swept into the abyss of 
tbrgetfulness, those manly forms and brave hearts, \vhich 
dared to stand up against great odds and assert their 
freedom, but let the sons of Townsend, in all coming time, 
with fervent gratitude, remember James Hosley and his 



— H 


Walter Hastings, son of Col. Walter Hastings, 
was born at Townsend Harbor, December 9, 1814. He 
was only six years old at the time of his father's death. 
He was so promising a lad, that he was fitted for college 
by a private tutor ; but he decided not to enter college, 
preferring a life devoted to mercantile pursuits. 

Through the influence of Hon. Amos Lawrence, he 
obtained a situation in the long-established house of Whit- 
ney & Haskell, where he remained till, or about the time 
he arrived at majority, enjoying the confidence of the firm 
and its numerous patrons. 

Upon starting for himself, he was a partner in the 
firm of Spaulding, Rice & Hastings, in the dry goods 
business. In buying the goods for this house, he acquired 
an extensive acquaintance, which was much to his pecu- 
niary advantage. He has held many positions of trust, 
which only a clear-headed, honest man, could fill. 

He was treasurer of the Suffolk Manufacturing Com- 
pany, the Tremont Mills, and the Merrimack Woollen 
Mills, each at Lowell — of all, at the same time. These 
corporations employed between three and four thousand 
operatives, the monthl}^ pay-roll of which amounted to 
about one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. For a 
number of years, he was treasurer of the York Manufac- 
turing Company, Saco, Maine. Mr. Hastings has been a 
director in the Eliot Bank, from its formation, 185 1, to the 
present time ; and is also one of the directors in quite a 
number of manufacturing, fire and marine insurance com- 
panies. He is punctual to an appointment, and attends to 
all these interests with fidelit}'. By judicious investments, 
he has accumulated a large fortune, and he now ranks 
among the princely merchants of Boston, where he re- 


The career of this gentleman exemplifies to our 
youth, the importance of an early and decided choice of 
a pursuit, in which to engage, when the dawn of man- 
hood shall sound the reveille for the battle with the world. 

Hon. John Spaulding, son of Dea. John Spaulding, 
was born on Nissequassick Hill, in 1817. For three years 
he was in attendance at Phillips Academy, Andover, 
where he fitted for college. In 1842, he entered Yale 
College, with the freshman class, and remained at that 
institution until sometime during the senior year, when on 
account of ill health he left college. Not regaining his 
health sufficiently to return and graduate with his class, 
his Alf/m Afaler, without being solicited by any one, some- 
time afterward conferred upon him the degree of A. M., 
with all the rights and privileges of an Alumnus. Like 
many other country boys, he had to depend largely upon 
his own exertions, to support himself and gain a liberal 
education. Before the present days of numerous college 
scholarships, very materially aiding the impecunious 
student to fight the financial wolf from his door, young 
men of small means were obliged to work through the 
vacations, teaching school, and in other pursuits, to find 
the means to pay college fees and the other expenses of 
obtaining an education. 

Mr. Spaulding entered the Law School, at Harvard 
Universit}', and pursued the course of study in that school, 
taking the degree of LL. B., in 1850. Subsequently he 
pursued his studies in the office of George F. Farley, 
a prominent lawyer at Groton Centre. In 1851, he was 
admitted to the bar. and opened an office at Groton Centre, 
wiiere he remained in practice only a short time, choosing 


''J^J^^ J.tCoCLCcCc^\ 



Groton Junction for a permanent place of business, where 
he has since had his office and residence, having also an 
office in Boston. 

In 1872, he was appointed second special justice of 
the First District Court of Northern Middlesex, and since 
his induction into that office, he has held a seat on the 
bench in this court. 

Judge Spaulding is neither a prominent politician, or 
an office seeker, his judgeship being tendered to him 
without his solicitation, either directly or indirectly. In 
exercising his right as a citizen he is identified with the 
republican party, while his religious associations, like 
most of the numerous Spaulding family, are with the 
orthodox congregationalists. As a lawyer, he is courteous 
to opposing counsel, and witnesses of the party opposed 
to him invariably leave the stand without feeling insulted. 
He has made the legal profession a pecuniarv success, 
which, considering the large number of learned and 
eminent members of the Middlesex bar, with whom he 
has had to compete, could never have been done without 
good discipline and a large amount of brain power. In 
1862, he married Charlotte A., daughter of Alpheus 
Bigelow, Esq., of Weston. They have no children. 

Hon. Levi Wallace was born, at or near the south- 
east corner of what was "Hathorn's farm," in Townsend, 
in 1833. While at the district school he was noted as a 
good scholar. For nearly three years he attended the 
Normal School, at Reeds Ferr}, a village in the town of 
Merrimack, New Hampshire. Professor William Russell 
was then at the head of this institution. He passed the 
years 1857 and 1858 at Appleton Academy, New Ipswich, 



New Hampshire, during which time he fitted for college. 
He was a teacher in the Normal School, at Reeds Ferry, 
for about a year. In 1859, ^^^ commenced reading law, in 
the office of Hon. John Spaulding, at Ayer, and continued 
in that study till 1862, when he was admitted to the bar, 
and commenced the practice of law, at Pepperell. In 
1868, he was a member of the house of representatives in 
the Massachusetts Legislature, for the towns of Groton 
and Pepperell. In 1872, he was elected a member of the 
Massachusetts Senate, for the Fifth Middlesex District ; 
and was re-elected to the same office in 1873. On the 
fifteenth day of August, 1873, he was appointed special 
justice of the First District Court of Northern Middlesex, 
and in February, 1874, ^^^ '^'^'^^ appointed standing justice 
of the same court. 

The mother of Judge Wallace was a Spaulding. 
There have been frequent instances of intermarriage 
between these families in Townsend. He resides at Ayer, 
the location of the First District Court of Northern Mid- 
dlesex. As a counsellor, he is deliberate and circumspect : 
as a justice, he is decided and sell-reliant; as a man, he 
is of fine personal appearance and good address. In 
1863, he married Hannah F. Blaney. 

Stillman Haynes, Esq^, the son of Samuel and 
Eliza (Spaulding) Haynes, was born on Nissequassick 
Hill, April 17, 1833. After receiving the usual training 
of the common and select schools of his native town, he 
was in attendance at Leicester Academy, and the Normal 
School, at Lancaster. In the last named institution, he 
was so fortunate as to receive rhetorical and elocutionar}" 
instruction from that master of these arts. Prof. William 


Russell, and instruction in the natural sciences, from 
Prof. Sanborn Tenney. He was for some time, at New 
Ipswich Academy, an associate teacher, and student with 
Elihu T. Quimby, w^ho is at present Professor of mathe- 
matics and civil engineering, at Dartmouth College. He 
graduated at Kimball Union iVcademy, Meriden, New 
Hampshire, in 1859. I'^nking well both in character and 
scholarship. He excelled particularly in mathematics. 
During the years of preparatory study, he was successfully 
employed in teaching advanced village schools, at several 
places. As the income derived from teaching was some- 
times inadequate to meet the expenses of his education, 
he resorted to manual labor to obtain funds to enable him 
to acquire a thorough education in ancient and modern 
languages, higher mathematics, engineering and litera- 
ture. In 1859, ^^ entered the law office of Bonney & 
Marshall, at Lowell, as a law student, and was admitted 
to the Middlesex bar, in 1861. He commenced practice 
at Ashburnham, in 1862, but returned to Townsend, in 
1863, and opened a law office. He continued the practice 
of law in Townsend, till 1868, when he removed to Fitch- 
burg, and continued in that profession. While he was 
at Townsend, he was a member of the board of selectmen 
and served several years on the school committee. Since 
his removal to Fitchburg he has devoted himself exclu- 
sively to the practice of law, and by his thorough and 
patient examination of matters entrusted to him, combined 
with strict tidelity to his clients, he has attained a good 
standing and an honorable rank in his profession. He 
also enjoys the confidence of the citizens of his native 
town, more especially in matters pertaining to wills and 


trusts, and he is held by them in high estimation lor his 
integrity and legal ability. Mr, Haynes is the youngest, 
of the live sons of Townsend, who have chosen law for a 
profession. These men were all born on Nissequassick 
Hill, and in the same neighborhood. They are all among 
the living, except Mark Davis, and the three, whose 
leatures are lithographed and appear in this chapter, 
sustain very friendly relations to each other. Mr. Haynes 
married Hattie M. Kimball, of Temple, New Hampshire, 
October 8, 1863. 

The ancestors of the Warrens, of Townsend, came 
over from England, in early colonial times. The direct 
descent of this family is traceable to Ephrairn Warren 
(born at Chelmsford, in 1731J, who came to this town 
from Chelmsford about 1760. His lather's name was 
Ephraim, and he was a brother of Thomas Warren, who 
was a captain in the continental army, and also repre- 
sented Townsend in the General Court, and served on the 
board of selectmen for a number of years. The Ephraim, 
who settled here, married Mary Parker, sister of Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Moses Parker, of the "27th Regiment of foot 
in the revolutionary war," and he lived on the Shirley 
road, about a mile southeast from the Harbor. He is rep- 
resented, by tradition, as a man some below medium 
stature, of the Zaccheus-Napoleon type. He was the 
man who left his plow in the furrow, and started immedi- 
atelv, on horseback, when the alarm was given to the 
minute-men, on the 19th of April, 1775, mentioned in an- 
other part of this work. He died in 181 2. 

(li.i.i^i^yv^ /5^e^/^«^4^^-^ 


Moses Warren, the oldest son of this patriot, born 
in 1755, was one of the most influential men, during his 
time, in this town or vicinity. He was an enterprising 
business man, trading in neat stock, lumber and land. He 
bought the place where the hotel now stands, at West 
Townsend, about 1793, of Israel Hobart. Only the west 
half of this building was made at that time, the east half 
being put on soon after the commencement of the present 
centur}'. This hotel, in Mr. Warren's time, was exten- 
sively patronized by travellers and market men. 

In 1799, when the third New Hampshire turnpike, 
leading from Townsend to Walpole, New Hampshire, 
was being made, with much foresight and shrewdness, he 
purchased a large tract of land at its terminus in this 
town, and erected the hotel, now. standing on the west side 
of the river, at the centre of the town, intending to secure 
the custom of travellers at one or the other of the taverns, 
which he kept for a long time. He was a popular land- 
lord, extensively known and respected. His tavern, at 
the Centre, was opened just before the ordination of Rev. 
Mr. Palmer, in 1800. On that festive occasion, he set 
tables in every room in his house, to which free access 
was given to every person who desired to enjoy his hospi- 
tality. In another part of this book, his name appears as 
a contractor for moving, setting up and finishing the old 
meeting-house, on the common. 

He married (1776,) Martha Reed, of Townsend. 
The}' had five sons and five daughters. Seven of these 
lived to the age of more than three score years and ten. 
The oldest (Hannah,) lived to the age of eighty-two 
years, and the youngest (Martha, married Aaron Keyes,) 
is still alive at the age of nearly eighty years. 


Levi Warren, the sixth child of this family, the 
picture of whom graces this volume, was born in 1788. 
He inherited the nervous, active enterprise of his father, 
who taught him that self-reliance which guided his course 
through life. Like his father, he also was not afraid of 
work. Before he was twenty years of age, being "master 
of his time," he went to Boston, and b}^ his industry and 
prudence, in a short time, he earned and saved money 
enough, so that he owned teams, and hired men himself; 
he prosecuted the teaming business, for a time, in a prof- 
itable manner. 

In 1813, during the war with England, while British 
cruisers were hovering on our coast read}- to prey on our 
commerce, the government put him in charge of his own 
teams, and those of other parties, to convey boots and 
shoes, and other goods, needed in the south, to Charleston, 
South Carolina, and to return loaded with cotton, and 
other products of that section, needed in New England. 

Subsequently, Mr. Warren was the proprietor of a 
wood wharf, in Boston, which was a source of wealth to 
him. Soon after the death of his father (1815), he bought 
different tracts of land, of his brothers, and from other 
parties, which, added to what he owned before, and what 
he inherited as his share of the estate of his father, made 
him the owner of more acres than most any man in town. 
A large part of the land in and around West Townsend 
was owned b\' the Warrens, of whom Levi was the largest 

He was the most public spirited man, of his time, in 
Townsend. When the baptists decided to have a meeting- 
house, some of them wanted it located about half-wa\- on 

ChOAJ-L^ Uj Qy^hr^^yK. 


the road from the west village to the Centre. By the 
advice of Levi Warren this building was placed where it 
now stands, and, as has been heretofore stated he gave the 
land for the site of this edifice, and more than one-third of 
the money expended in its erection. In 1818, the hotel and 
two or three small dwellings, besides Mr. Jonathan 
Richardson's house, constituted most of the dwelling- 
houses in what is now the postal centre of West Town- 
send. This village is largely indebted to the Warrens, of 
two or three generations, and particularly to Levi, for its 
present cheerful appearance. Mr. Warren returned from 
Boston, and made West Townsend his place of residence, 
in 1837. The baptist church and the young ladies' 
seminary received his special attention, to the support of 
both of which he gave his money without stint or urging. 
In addition to his many acts of beneficence, it must be 
recorded that, in 1838, he gave the land for the cemetery, 
at West Townsend, for which the town returned to him 
a unanimous vote of thanks. 

In other parts of this book, his name appears several 
times as a town officer, a military man, a representative to 
the General Court, and a benefactor to the institutions at 
West Townsend. In 1848, he moved to Newton, where 
he resided till his death, which occurred in 1864, when his 
remains were accompanied to Townsend for interment : 
and he now reposes within easy distance from the hum of 
industrv, and the joyous ringing of the church bells of the 
\illage, he founded and loved so faithfully. 



Town Library and its Origin— Fire Department — Odd Fellows— Town- 
send National Bank — The Ladies' Benevolent Society of the 
Orthodox Conjjregational Chnrch— Townsend Cornet Band— 
Post-Otfices and Postmasters. 

In 1858, a book agent canvassed this town for the 
sale of a set of books, to make up an agricultural library, 
obtaining the names of some more than one hundred 
subscribers, who paid three dollars each, and became 
mutually interested in the enterprise. A farmers' club was 
talked about but never organized. A cominittee was 
chosen to select the books from a long catalogue. Most 
of the volumes selected were well worth}- of the attention 
of the farmer, but, a part of them, like Peter Pindar's 
razors, ''were made to sell." The books were read con- 
siderably, for a year or two, when it began to be discussed 
how to have more books and a larger library. In the 
winter of i860, a levee was given at the town hall, ex- 
presslv in the interest of the library, at which some over 
a hundred dollars were made after paying all expenses. 
During the next ten years, two or three gatherings of this 
kind were held, the object of which was to raise monev 
with which to buy books for the library. Each person. 



having the benefit of this library, was taxed fifty cents a 
year, to help pay for a place to keep it in and secure the 
services of a librarian. The number of readers increased ; 
and at two or three times, when books were to be bought, 
a good degree of judgment was exercised in selecting 
standard literature, from the best authors. 

In 1873, the shareholders and patrons of the library 
had an article inserted in the town warrant, to see if the 
town would take it oft' their hands, and make it a free 
library. The town voted to grant annually one hundred 
dollars for the support of the library ; and a committee has 
been chosen, each year, to expend the money. This 
money has all been expended for books, the running 
expenses having been paid the same as before, that is, by 
every reader paying fifty cents per annum. The influence 
of this institution has been excellent, in creating and 
fostering a taste and talent for reading and observation, 
and in giving to our youth pleasant thoughts and profitable 
culture. It contains at present more than one thousand 
volumes of history, poetry and belles-lettres. 

Soon after the conflagration of the steam mill, owned 
b}' Walter Fessenden & Son, in August, 1874, ^ town 
meeting w-as called, to learn the opinion of the voters of 
the town in regard to the propriety of purchasing engines 
and appliances to extinguish fires. The voters turned out 
en masse to that town meeting, and after deliberation 
chose a committee, consisting of nine gentlemen, who 
resided at difterent parts of the town, to visit some of the 
cities and towns of this Commonwealth in order to ascer- 
tain what was needed, and to report at an adjourned 
meeting. The committee attended to that duty, and at 


the adjournment presented two reports to the town. The 
majority were in tavor of purchasing a third size tirst 
class Amoskeag steam fire engine, to be located at the 
centre of the town, a hand tire engine for West Town- 
send, and a chemical fire engine, called the Little Giant, 
for the Harbor. The minority reported that it was best 
for the town to purchase a hand machine for the Centre, 
two chemical engines for West Townsend, with hook and 
ladder apparatus, and one Little Giant, with hook and 
ladder apparatus, for the Harbor. 

After a long and exciting discussion the town adopted 
the report of the majority of the committee. At that 
meeting the town voted to authorize this committee to 
purchase lands for engine houses, and to locate the same, 
to buy the engines, hose, nozzles, hose carriages, and 
every thing necessary for a regular fire department. This 
committee consisted of Alfred M. Adams, Anson D. 
Fessenden, E. S. Wilder, Jonas Spaulding, Jr., Alexander 
Craig, John E. Dickerman, S. W. Upton, William P. 
Taylor, and John M. Campbell. During the summer and 
autumn of 1875, the engines, and all the appliances 
necessary, were bought, and the engine houses were 
built. Tiie committee introduced first class engines, and 
built first class engine houses, it is presumed, on the 
principle that if an3'thing is worth doing, it is worth doing 
well. A company was soon raised, at the Centre, to man 
the steamer and hose carriage, and a company was 
organized at West Townsend, for the hand engine. 

On the first of January, 1876, a 'fire department was 
tbrmally organized, by the choice of the following officers : 
Edwin A. Spaulding, tbreman of Steam Fire Engine 
Company, at Townsend Centre. Augustus Wilson, fore- 
man of Eclipse Engine Company, at West Townsend. 


Albert L. Fessenden, chief engineer, A. D. Fessenden, 
first assistant engineer, A. M. Adams, second assistant en- 
gineer, Wm. P. Taylor, third assistant engineer, at Town- 
send Centre ; Lewis Sanders, first assistant engineer, 
Samuel G. Wilson, second assistant engineer, Miletus 
Gleason, third assistant engineer, at West Townsend ; 
Jonas Spaulding, Jr., first assistant engineer, Noah Wal- 
lace, second assistant engineer, at Townsend Harbor. 

Fortunately for the town, there has been no large fire 
since the inauguration of this department, whereby either 
the efficiency of these machines, or the skill of the fire- 
men, has been particularly tested. It may be a question 
whether a town of some over tw^o thousand inhabitants, 
scattered over so large a territory, exercised good judg- 
ment in establishing a department of this kind, so expen- 
sive, inasmuch as the centre of the town, containing the 
best dwellings and the most expensive factories of any in 
town, are well protected b}- a force pump in the steam 
mill, and a force pump in the mill of A. M. Adams, either 
of which are powerful enough to throw water through a 
long stretch of hose and do good execution. The engines, 
houses, hose, and every thing connected with the fire 
department, cost the town, when it was established, about 
seventeen thousand dollars. 

In December, 1866, M. W. Edmund D. Bancroft, 
grand master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
of Massachusetts, and the officers of the grand lodge of 
this order, and J. L. Spring, M. W. grand master of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of New Hampshire, 
together with delegates from Fredonia Lodge, Shirley, 
Harvard Lodge, Harvard, and Custos Morum Lodge, 


Miltbrd, New Hampshire, assembled at the hall above 
the auditorium, in the Universalist church building, at 
West Townsend, and instituted a Lodge of Odd FellovVs, 
and gave it the name of "North Star Lodge, No. 144." 
At this meeting, the following officers were chosen and 
duly installed : David Cram, N. G. ; Albert Howe, V. G. ; 
J. F. Stevens, secretary. The regular meetings of this 
fraternity were held at West Townsend until 1870, when 
a spacious and elegant hall was fitted up for its accommo- 
dation at the centre of the town. Apparently this insti- 
tution is doing a good work in the cause of morality, 
sociability, and charity. At present this lodge has one 
hundred and nine members, a part of whom reside in the 
adjoining towns. In February, 1877, Albert L. Fessenden, 
a member of this lodge, was elected grand warden, and 
in August, 1877, he was elected deput}" grand master of 
the R. W. G. L. of Massachusetts, L O. O. F. 

Albert L. Fessenden, the junior partner of the 
firm of Walter Fessenden & Son, was born on West Hill, 
in 1839. ^^^ heritage in his personal appearance and 
temperament is trom the side of his mother, whose name 
was Harriet E. Lewis, coming from a family noted for 
good health and a large amount of vitality. At a proper 
age he went to the academ}- at Wilbraham, where he 
remained about three years, ranking well in his studies, 
particularly so in mathematics. To him they were happy 
days, those that he passed at Wilbraham Academy. 
Wiien he was about nineteen years of age, and nearly 
fitted for college, he left the academy and decided to put 
in his lot with his father, in the manufacturing business. 
His first service rendered, consisted of a journey to Nova 




Scotia and Newfoundland, as a drummer, to sell goods, 
with the promise that the proceeds of the sale of all the 
shocks which he sold over a certain number should be 
placed to his credit as a partner. He appeared at the 
objective points at just the right time, and the amount of 
his sales largely exceeded the expectation of either him- 
self or his father. 

The manufacture of shooks, during the first decade 
of the partnership of this firm, was an exceedingly bulky, 
as well as profitable trade. That a person outside of a 
coopering town may have some idea of what "shooks" 
are, it ma}^ be proper to put in a short description. The 
staves of a barrel, knocked down, and tied up in a bundle, 
after the cask is set up, levelled, howelled and worked off, 
would be a shook. Those made at that time were of hard 
wood, either maple, birch, or oak, with staves about 
twenty-one inches long, and heads, perhaps eighteen 
inches in diameter, and when set up and hooped, were 
"quarter fish drums." The heads to be used in these 
casks were fitted by a machine, and packed in drums to 
accompany the shooks, which, on arriving at their desti- 
nation were set up, hooped with iron, and filled with dry 
fish ready for market. We nearl}' lost sight of the man 
in describing the shook. He conducts the correspondence 
and attends to the operatives, for the most part, while his 
father has generally been the travelling salesman. Since 
the erection of the steam mill, he has given his personal 
attention to the preparation of the stock, and the running 
of the engine and machinery. As a man, he is deliberate 
and circumspect, never excited under reverses, or jubi- 
lant over success. He is a good presiding officer at a 


public meeting, or can express his views before an 
audience in an acceptable manner. He is a prominent 
member of the masonic fraternity, and popular in that 
order, having passed the chairs in an intelligent and 
appreciable manner; besides, he is a "past eminent com- 
mander" in the order of knighthood, the degrees of which 
he conferred impressively. He is a bachelor, though not 
yet "an old bachelor." 

The Townsend Bank was chartered in 1854. ^^ ^'""^ 
organization of the grantees, in September of that year, 
John M. Hollingsworth, of Groton, was elected president, 
and Edward Ordway, cashier. The following October. 
Mr. Hollingsworth 'resigned the office of president, i.nd 
Walter Fessenden was chosen to fill that office. Mr. 
Ordway was only nineteen years of age. Both of these 
officers have been at their post since that time, having 
gained and held the most implicit confidence of the busi- 
ness men of the Commonwealth, and in fact, of the 
government and nation. 

The first board of directors consisted of Walter Fes- 
senden, Daniel Adams, Charles B. Barrett and Samuel 
Adams, of Townsend, John M. Hollingsworth, of Groton, 
Stephen Wyman, of Ashby, Luther Tarbell, Jr., of Pep- 
perell. Nelson Howe and Edwin C. Bailey, of Boston. It 
had one hundred and Iburteen shareholders, and one 
hundred shares was the largest amount taken by one 
person. The capital stock is one hundred thousand 
dollars. It has literally been the people's bank, quite a 
number of the stockholders owaiing less than ten shares. 
It was changed to a National Bank, in April, 1865. While 


it was a state institution, its bills contained some cunningly 
drawn figures and sparkling embellishments, calculated 
at a glance to reveal the contents of the notes of the differ- 
ent denominations. 

In 1869, burglars made an attempt to rob this bank. 
They succeeded in opening the outer door to the vault, 
but the inside door, made of steel, foiled their plans, and 
they could go no further. They applied gunpowder to 
the doors, probably by placing it between them, expect- 
ing to drive the inside door into the vault," but without 
the desired effect. The explosion awakened the neighbor- 
hood, and the would-be burglars took to their teams and 
fled. The direction which they took being soon learned, 
they were followed by a gentleman, with a fast horse, and 
their sweaty and panting team, consisting of a pair of 
fleet horses, was found, just put up in one of the stables 
in Lowell. The bank now has a surplus fund of about 
forty thousand dollars. 

The Ladies' Benevolent Society, consisting of ladies 
worshipping with the congregationalists. is deserving of a 
special notice. Many a thankful heart has bestowed a 
secret blessing on the efforts of these persons, in their 
labors of love and philanthropy. Their work has been 
done ver}' quietly, without any passwords, ostentation, 
regalia, or high-sounding titles. Without doubt, this pas- 
sage of the divine word has been kept constantly in view : 
" And the King shall answer and say unto them ; verily I 
say unto you ; Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least 
of these mv brethren, ve have done it unto me." 


The following is extracted Irom the proceedings at 
the semi-centennial gathering of this society, in 1876 : — 

"1826. Officers of the Ladies' Benevolent Society : 
Mary Palmer, president ; Chloe Stephens, vice-president ; 
Mary Adams, secretary ; Abigail Going, treasurer. Man- 
agers — Hannah Clement, Hannah Hart, Jane Sanderson, 
Polly Spaulding. 

"1876. Mrs. Jonas Spaulding, Jr., president; Mrs. 
William P. Taylor, vice-president ; Mrs. Asa K. Tyler, 
secretary and treasurer. Managers — Mrs. Lorenzo Hil- 
dreth, Mrs. Noah Adams, Mrs. Benjamin F. Lewis, 
Miss Maria Winn, Mrs. Aaron Hildreth, Mrs. Thomas 
F. Seaver. 

"In ancient Scripture times — when events occurred 
which the people wished to keep in mind, we are told they 
arranged in some wav as many large stones as they could 
conveniently move, and let them stand as a memorial ol 
the event, leaving it to those who knew, to explain from 
time to time to others. We are invited at this time to bring 
something to serve the purpose of memorial stones, with 
reference to our Ladies' Benevolent Society. 

"One afternoon, during the spring of 1826, a large 
company of voung ladies trom ditTerent parts of our town, 
assembled in the Centre school-room. The motive which 
brought them together, may be best learned by those 
records, which have been handed down to us: 'We, the 
subscribers, believing it to be the duty of all to assist in 
the great work of spreading the gospel, and feeling it 
likewise to be a privilege to aid so noble a cause, do agree 
to form ourselves into a societv, and subscribe to the 


following articles. First — This society shall be called 
The Young Ladies' Reading and Charitable Society of 
Townsend — whose object shall be to meet at stated times 
and places, for the purpose of braiding straw, knitting and 
sewing, the avails of which shall be appropriated to some 
benevolent purpose, expressed by the members of the 
society.' After the six articles of the constitution are 
recorded, we find the names of the officers, and the names 
of the sixty ladies, who were present at that first meeting ; 
very few of whom are now among the living. In 1828, 
we find this resolution adopted at the annual meeting : 
'Any individual neglecting to meet with the society as 
often as once a quarter, and making no return of work at 
the annual meeting, shall no longer be considered a mem- 
ber.' Labor with a purpose, was evidently a ruling motive 
in the early years of this society, though the avails of 
their labor were necessarily small. The channels of com- 
munication, with every part of our own country, were not 
open as now, and they sent their money or boxes directly 
to the missionary rooms, in Boston, to aid in foreign work. 
In 1833, Mrs. William M. Rogers w^as chosen president; 
Miss Caroline Wright, vice-president; Mrs. John Bertram, 
secretary. After this year, until 1838, we find the labors 
of the society, as such, suspended, and the efforts of 
the ladies mainly directed to purposes of local interest. 
They prepared and kept on hand for the purpose of loan- 
ing to the needy sick, articles of bedding, wearing ap- 
parel, etc. The first record of a box sent west by our 
society, was made in 1841, when one was sent to Michi- 
gan, valued at fifty-four dollars. During this 3^ear, a vote 
was passed to invite the gentlemen to attend the meetings 
and co-operate in the efforts of the society. 


''In 1844, Mrs. Luther H. Sheldon became our presi- 
dent and secretary, which position she held tor twelve 
years — a longer period than any other person. The 
American Home Missionary Society organized the same 
year as our own, and later, the American Missionary 
Association, have afforded facilities for aiding the laborers 
on our western frontier, and also the freedmen of the 
south. The exact number of boxes and barrels sent west 
and south, by our society, we are not able to state; but 
responses have come to us of such a character, as should 
stimulate to continued and increasing effort. 

''In 1870, Mrs. George H. Morss was chosen presi- 
dent, and Mrs. Asa K. Tyler, secretary and treasurer. 
Since that date, our financial record appears better than 
in any part of our history for the same period of time. 
Our donations in money and clothing, for home missions 
and the freedmen, being nearly $450, with a parsonage 
fund of $1,400. The society took its present name in 
1845, when the constitution was amended. 

"As the years have rolled on, we find attention turned 
from time to time to local interests — sometimes in repairs 
about our house of worship — sometimes in assisting needy 
families. At different times we find a committee appointed 
in the school districts, to see if there were children need- 
ing aid to fit them out for Sabbath service. During the 
war, the soldiers received quite a large share in the 
interest and labors of this society. While we have not 
intentionally overlooked home interests, in our efforts for 
those abroad, we have desired to act on the principle that 
one should be done — the other not left undone.'' 


Miss Mary Palmer, the president of this society at its 
inauguration, is still among the living. She is nearly an 
octogenarian, in the full possession of her intellectual 
faculties, "of sound mind and memory," and has furnished 
the writer with many facts embraced in this work. She is 
the daughter of Rev. David Palmer. The secretary at 
that time. Miss Mary Adams, daughter of Dea. Joel 
Adams, now the widow of John Bertram, M. D., is also 
alive, and as active in the service as in the days of yore. 
Miss Myra Proctor, daughter of Dea. John Proctor, was 
an efficient member of this organization. For the past 
seventeen years she has been a missionary, stationed at 
Aintab, Syria. She translated Cutter's Physiolog}* into 
the Armenio-Turkish language, published at Constanti- 
nople, in 1868. She has much energy of character, is 
genial, and possesses excellent culture. But not to par- 
ticularize further, it must be acknowledged that all these 
ladies have been benefactors to their race. "Who can 
tind a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." 

Townsend has every reason to feel proud of its 
musical ability, both vocal and instrumental. Prominent 
among the latter, stands the Townsend Cornet Band, 
consisting of eighteen pieces, under the direction of 
Stephen A. Tyler. The band was organized, in 1838, 
with Luther Adams, as leader. Previous to this time, 
quite a number of musicians had met together, at ditl^erent 
times, for the purpose of practice, but without any regular 
organization. At lirst the band consisted of tw^enty 
members, and without- varying much from that number, 
it has passed down through subsequent years, under the 
successive direction of George Warren, Adams Reed, 


William Taylor, and Henry L. Butler, to the year 1865, 
when the present leader, Mr. Tyler, was chosen. He has 
held the position since then, with the exception of about 
eight months, during which time his place was tilled 
by his brother, A. Parker T^der. The band has ac- 
quired, as it justly deserves, more than a local recogni- 
tion, receiving calls from the neighboring cities and towns, 
whenever an occasion, demanding music, arises. It has 
numbered among its instructors, Messrs. S. E. Hopkins, 
M. G. Gilpatrick, and Alonzo Bond. The following is 
the present membership of the band : Stephen A. Tyler, 
E flat clarionet ; Eugene Wetherbee, B flat clarionet ; Fred 
A. Larkin, E flat cornet; A. Parker Tyler, solo B flat 
cornet; Charles E. Robinson, first B flat cornet; Augustus 
A. Gerrish, second B flat cornet; Wallace L. Maynard, 
solo alto ; Andrew Drum, first alto ; W. L. Bartlett, second 
alto; John Arlin, B flat tenor; John Boutelle, baritone; 
Charles Cram, B flat bass ; Martin Whitcomb, tuba ; A. 
K. T3'ler, tuba ; William Coflee, bass drum ; Edward 
Gonier, snare drum ; Elmer Winn, cymbals. 

During the past year an orchestra was formed, com- 
posed of members of the brass band, with the exception 
of Charles Cox, Edward A. Walker, and Edward 
Walker, violinists, consisting of ten pieces. This orchestra 
discourses sweet music and is well united. 

Communications in writing, among the people, at a 
distance, one hundred years ago, were circulated and 
travelled much slower than one would suppose. Most all 
the letters, written in New England, were sent by the 
market men and teamsters to a general post-office in 


Boston, and most of them were advertised in the Boston 
Gazette, a newspaper duly authorized for that purpose. 
There were some subscribers to that paper in this town, at 
that time. In 1777, among the letters advertised in a 
copy of that paper, is one for a man in Lyndeborough, 
New Hampshire, one for Colonel William Prescott, of 
Pepperell, and one for "Mary Reed, of Townshend." 

In 1794, a man by the name of Balch was a courier 
between Keene and Boston, travelling on horseback. He 
came through Townsend, and was an expressman, in a 
small way, for two or three years, carrying letters and 
messages, and doing errands. 

The Boston and Keene stages began to run in 1806. 
making three trips a week, at first, but soon after they 
commenced changing horses so frequently, that the entire 
distance was made daily. The horses were changed at 
Concord, Groton, New Ipswich (at the Wheeler tavern,) 
and Jaffrey, New Hampshire. The coaches met at about 
noon, in this town, and during a part of the time, the 
horses were changed and the passengers dined at West 

The monotony of the long, summer days, in these 
rural towns, was very pleasantly broken by the noisy 
axle-trees of these vehicles ; and the busy husbandmen and 
toilers, in the roadside fields, would pause in their labors, 
to catch a view of those messengers of civilization as they 
moved briskly along. Some of the stage drivers are well 
remembered at the present time. Kimball Dantbrth was 
very popular, and later, Walter Carlton and Stephen 
Corbin were for a long time in the service. These men 
studied to make every thing agreeable to their passengers. 


and were very accommodating to all wishing to send 
errands or packages. Their hardships in occasionally 
encountering the deep snow-drifts on the hills, and the 
pinching northwest winds which January sweeps over 
the Townsend plains, are not forgotten. After the rail- 
roads were made, some of these drivers were placed upon 
the cars, as conductors, but they always appeared out of 
their element, and as though they greatly preferred the 
excitement afforded by their pet animals, rather than the 
unnatural snort of the iron horse. 

. The following is a list of the postmasters at Town- 
send Centre, and the time of their appointments : — 

Moses Warren, July i, 1808. 
John W. Loring, July i, 181 1. 
William A. Bancroft, February 17, 181 7. 
Aaron Keys, August 23, 1826. 
Office discontinued, October 29, 1834. 
Re-established, April 11, 1835. 
Joseph Adams, Jr., April 11, 1835. 
Thomas Farrar, July 20, 1839. 
Walter FesseNden, November 12, 1846. 
John Brooks, September 15, 1849. 
George A. Wood, September 13, 1851. 
Charles Osgood, August 12. 1852. 
William P. Taylor, April 12, 1861. 
Edwin A. Larkin, September 27, 1866. 
Charles Osgood, August 5, 1868. 
William P. Taylor, April 8, 1869. 


The following is a list of the postmasters at Town- 
send Harbor, and the time of their appointments : — 

James S. Walton, ***** 
David B. Livermore, July 31, 1832. 
Paul Gerrish, February 23, 1835. 
Ebenezer p. Hills, April 17, 1839. 
Charles Gerrish, February 23, 1842. 
Charles Emery, February 8, 1843. 
Oliver Whitcomb, January 3, 1850. 
Charles Emery, September 15, 1855. 

The following is a list of the postmasters at West 
Townsend, and the time of their appointments : — 

Silas Bruce, July 20, 1849. 
Augustus G. Stickney, June 25, 1855. 
Albert Howe, April 22, 1861. 
Augustus G. Stickney, July 17, 1862. 
Albert Howe, October i, 1862. 

There was a mail route established between Lowell 
and Worcester, in 1832, which gave the Harbor a post- 
office, at this early date, that point being on the route. 

The post-office at Townsend Centre was discontinued 
in 1834, frt)m the cause, that the returns to the department 
were not made as promptly as was required, so that all 
mail matter for this town, from October 1834, to April 11. 
1835, came to the Harbor. 



Some EeiDiirkable Votes of the Town— Good Sense of the Town 
About Taxes — Names of the Town Clerks. Moderators. Select- 
men, and Eepresentatives, from the Time the Town was Char- 
tered to 1879— Justices of the Peace— County Eoad Throug-h 
Groton — Deer Eeeves— Hog Eeeves— Tithing-Men. 

The names of the town officers, from the date of its 
incorporation to 1879, ^^^ contained in this chapter, and 
it is hoped that they are arranged in a manner that will 
be agreeable to the reader. These men all entered upon 
the discharge of their several duties, clothed with a solemn 
oath, and it is due to each and every one of them, to 
assume that their best abilities were enlisted in the interest 
of the town. Their acts have passed into history, and the 
relative position that Townsend now holds, compared with 
her sister towns in this Commonwealth, in the scale of 
wealth, morality or religion, is traceable to the manner in 
which they have discharged the duties committed to their 
trust. A tinge of melancholy has shaded the records, 
during the generations, as able and experienced boards of 
officers have fallen behind to give place to others, who 
also in their Itn-n have melted into the shadow}- past. 


without the personal remembrance of either kindred or 


•'And others rise to till our places; 
We sleep, and others run the races; 
And earth beneath and skies above 
Are still the same ; and God is love.'' 

For more than a century, after the town received its 
charter, the selectmen charged nothing and received 
nothing for their services, except the honor of being the 
"fathers of the town." One instance on record where pay 
was received for services rendered is as follows : In 1771, 
(town records, page 138,) "Voted to give Thomas Hubbort 
two pounds for a peculiar favor he has shone the town." 
What that peculiar favor, was is unknown, this being the 
entire record on that subject. It may be inferred that it 
was of considerable consequence to the town, for although 
the amount Mr. Hobart received would appear insignifi- 
cant in the eyes of a public servant of the present day, 
he undoubtedly regarded it as a goodly amount of " the 
filthy lucre." It was customary to pay the assessors a 
small sum for their services, who, during the time above 
mentioned, constituted a board entirely separate from the 

The practical good sense and judgment of the 
people who were here more than one hundred years ago, 
appeared in the act of the town, in 1777, when the money 
was appropriated by the town to pay the revolutionary 
soldiers, and different quotas were awarded different 
amounts ; after the several sums were agreed upon by the 
assembled citizens, "Voted that all the above estimates be 
made into a rate on the several inhabitants of this town, 
and that the polls pay one-half of said i-ate." This has 
the appearance of fair play and justice, and is more 


consistent than the present method. A poll-tax for some 
time past has been, and is at present, . two dollars. The 
tax on a male animal, of the canine species, is two dollars ; 
that on a female animal, of the same species, is five 
dollars ; so that occasionally a man will pay two and one- 
half times as much for the existence of a worthless pet 
dog, as he has to pay for his ov\ai head and all the advan- 
tages of good roads, good schools, and every thing that 
makes civilized life superior to barbarism. The polls in 
Townsend for some time have paid about one-sixteenth 
of the entire tax, when one-tifth would have been a 
fairer proportion. 

It will be observed, in the following catalogue, that 
Townsend omitted to send a representative to the General 
Court, many times during the lirst lifty years after the 
acquisition of our national independence. Probably this 
may be accounted for from the fact that each town for 
most of that time, paid its own representative, and the 
neglect was regarded as economy. A law suit (James 
Locke vs. The inhabitants of the town of Townsend,) was 
commenced in 1786, concerning a bill which James Locke 
brought against the town for services as a representative. 
The town considered the charges, in his account, exces- 
sive, and refused to pay it, which after the usual delays of 
the law was finally compromised and adjusted. 

Townsend has guarded her interests invariably with a 
jealous eye, and maintained her legal rights, "asking for 
nothing but what was right, and submitting to nothing 
that was wrong." 

The records for 1732 are lost, so that it is impossible 
to give the officers for that year. Samuel Manning was the 
town clerk, as appears from a part of the record, for that 


year. There is not much doubt but that the town had the 
same officers, in 1732, as in 1733 : — 

1733. Moderator, Joseph Stevens ; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Joseph Stevens, Joseph Bald- 
win,-Samuel Manning. 

1734. Moderator, Jasher Wyman ; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Joseph Stevens, Joseph Bald- 
win, Samuel Manning. 

1735. Moderator, Jasher Wyman ; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — John Stevens, Jasher Wy- 
man, Daniel Taylor, Jeremiah Ball, Samuel 

1736. Moderator, Samuel Manning; Clerk, John Ste- 

vens. Selectmen — John Stevens, Jasher Wyman, 
Daniel Taylor. 

1737. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, John Ste- 
vens, William Clark, Amos Whitney, Jacob 

1738. Moderator, Jasher Wyman ; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Daniel Taylor, James Hos- 
ley, Amos Whitney, Isaac Spaulding, Samuel 

1739. Moderator, Nathaniel Richardson: Clerk, Samuel 

Manning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, Daniel 
Taylor, Jasher Wyman, Ephraim Brown, Amos 


1740. Moderator, Ephraim Brown; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — ^John Stevens, Daniel Taylor, 
Amos Whitney. 

1 741. Moderator, Daniel Taylor ; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — William Fletcher, John Stev- 
ens, Nathaniel Richardson. 

1742. Moderator, John Stevens; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, John 
Stevens, Daniel Taylor, Ephraim Brown, Wil- 
liam Fletcher. 

1743. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, John Ste- 
vens, Benjamin Brooks, Ephraim Brown, Daniel 

1744. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, Benjamin 
Brooks, Nathaniel Richardson, Josiah Robbins, 
Daniel Taylor. 

1745. Moderator, John Stevens; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — John Stevens, Benjamin 
Brooks, Nathaniel Richardson. John Conant, 
Amos Whitney. 

1746. Moderator, John Stevens; Clerk. John Stevens. 

Selectmen — ^John Stevens, Benjamin Brooks, Na- 
thaniel Richardson. 


1747. Moderator, John Stevens; Clerk, John Stevens. 

Selectmen — John Stevens, Benjamin Brooks. 
Jeremiah Ball, Isaac Spaulding, John Wallis. 

1748. Moderator, Nathaniel Richardson; Clerk, Samuel 

Manning. Selectmen — John Stevens, Jonathan 
Hubbard, Amos Whitney. 

1749. Moderator, Jonathan Hubbard; Clerk, Samuel 

Manning. Selectmen — ^John Stevens, Jonathan 
Hubbard, Amos Whitney. 

1750. Moderator, Jonathan Hubbard; Clerk, Samuel 

Manning. Selectmen — John Stevens, Jonathan 
Wallis, Amos Whitney. 

1751. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, Benjamin 
Brooks, Amos Whitney. 

1752. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, Amos 
Whitney, Jonathan Hubbard. 

1753. Moderator, Jonathan Hubbard; Clerk, Samuel 

Manning. Selectmen — John Stevens, Jonathan 
Hubbard. Benjamin Brooks, Amos Whitne}'. 
Isaac Spaulding. 

1754. Moderator, John Stevens; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — John Conant, Daniel Adams. 
Zacheriah Emery. 


1755. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Samuel Man- 

ning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, Daniel 
Adams, John Conant, Zacheriah Emery, Eph- 
raim Brown. 

1756. Moderator, Jonathan Hubbard; Clerk, Samuel 

Manning. Selectmen — Jonathan Hubbard, Amos 
Whitney, Daniel Adams, Zacheriah Emery, 
Samuel Manning. 

1757. Moderator, Jonathan Hubbard; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Jonathan Hubbard, Amos 
Whitney, Daniel Adams, Ebenezer Wyman, 
William Stevens. 

1758. Moderator, Jonathan Hubbard; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Jonathan Hubbard, Dan- 
iel Adams, Amos Whitney, Daniel Taylor, 
Benjamin Brooks. 

1759. Moderator, Benjamin Brooks; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Benjamin Brooks, Amos 
Whitney, Isaac Spaulding, Daniel Adams, Eph- 
raim Heald. 

1760. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Amos Whitney, 
Daniel Taylor, Ephraim Heald, Isaac Spauld- 

1761. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Daniel Taylor, 
Zacheriah Emery, Isaac Farrar, Ephraim 


1762. Moderator, Daniel Taylor; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Amos Whitney, Oliver Hildreth, 
Jonathan Wallis, Daniel Taylor, Daniel Adams. 

1763. Moderator, Daniel Taylor ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Isaac Spaulding. 
Daniel Taylor, Benjamin Brooks, Zacheriah 

1764. Moderator, Daniel Taylor ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Amos Whitney. 
Ephraim Heald, Thomas Warren, Jonathan 

1765. Moderator, Daniel Taylor ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Daniel Taylor. 
Ephraim Heald, Ephraim Brown, William 

1766. Moderator, Daniel Taylor ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Ephraim Heald. 
Benjamin Brooks, James Hosley, Jonathan 


1767. Moderator, Ephraim Heald: Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Ephraim 
Heald, Thomas Warren, Isaac Farrar, Jonathan 

1768. Moderator, Ephraim Heald; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Ephraim 
Heald, Jonathan Wallis, Benjamin Brooks. 
Amos Heald. 


1769. Moderator, Samuel Manning; Clerk, Samuel 

Manning. Selectmen — Samuel Manning, Amos 
Heald, Isaac Farrar, Jonathan Patts, Daniel 

1770. Moderator, Amos Heald; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Amos Heald, Isaac 
Farrar, Thomas Warren, John Conant. 

1771. Moderator, James Hosley ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, James Hosley, John 
Conant, Benjamin Spaulding, Samuel Douglas. 

1772. Moderator, Jonathan Wallis ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Isaac 
Farrar, Samuel Douglas, Zacheriah Emery, 
James Hosley. 

1773. Moderator, James Hosley ; Clerk, Daniel iVdams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, James Hosley, 
Zacheriah Emery, Benjamin Brooks, Jonathan 


1774. Moderator, Daniel Taylor ; Clerk, Daniel i\dams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Daniel Taylor, 
Richard Wyer, Jonathan Wallis, Benjamin 

1775. Moderator, James Hosley ; Clerk, James Hosley. 

Selectmen — ^James Hosle^^ Isaac Farrar, Thomas 
Warren, Daniel Emery, Richard Wyer. 
Representative in the Provincial Congress, Israel 


1776. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, James Hosley. 

Selectmen — James Hosley, Isaac Farrar, Daniel 
Emery, Richard Wyer, Zacheriah Emery. 
Representative in the Provincial Congress, Israel 

1777. Moderator, Daniel Adams ; Clerk, James Hosley. 

Selectmen — James Hosley, Richard Wyer, Levi 
Whitney, Zacheriah Emery, Thomas Warren. 
Representative, James Locke. 

1778. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, James Hosley. 

Selectmen — James Hosley, Richard Wyer, 
Thomas Warren, Benjamin Spaulding, Elijah 
Representative, James Locke. 

1779. Moderator, Daniel Adams ; Clerk, James Hosley. 

Selectmen — Thomas Warren, Benjamin Spauld- 
ing, Samuel Maynard, Daniel Adams, Jr.. 
Elijah Wyman. 
Sent no Representative. 

1780. Moderator, Daniel Adams ; Clerk, James Hosley. 

Selectmen — Thomas Warren, Richard Wyer, 
Isaac Farrar, Daniel Adams, Jr., Benjamin 
Representative, James Locke. 

1781. Moderator, Daniel Adams : Clerk, James Hosley. 

Selectmen — Thomas Warren, Richard Wyer, 
Benjamin Spaulding, Lemuel Petts, Daniel 
Adams, Jr. 
Representative, Thomas Warren. 
47 • 


1782. Moderator, Isaac Farrar ; Clerk, Benjamin Ball. 

Selectmen — Benjamin Ball, Daniel Adams, Jr., 
Lemuel Petts, Daniel Sherwin, James Giles. 
Representative, James Locke. 

1783. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Benjamin Ball. 

Selectmen — Benjamin Ball, Daniel Adams, Jr., 
Benjamin Spaulding, Thomas "Seaver, Elijah 

1784. Moderator, William Hobart ; Clerk, Benjamin 

Ball. Selectmen — Benjamin Ball, Daniel Ad- 
ams, Jr., Benjamin Spaulding, Thomas Seaver, 
Lemuel Petts. 
Representative, William Hobart. 

1785. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Benjamin Ball. 

Selectmen — Benjamin Ball, Thomas Seaver, 
Thomas Warren. 

1786. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Benjamin Ball. 

Selectmen — Benjamin Ball, Thomas Warren, 
Benjamin Spaulding. 

1787. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Jr. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Jr., Lemuel 
Petts, Benjamin Spaulding, Jacob Blodget, 
Abner Adams. 
Representative, Daniel Adams. 

1788. Moderator, David Spafford ; Clerk, Daniel Ad- 

ams, Jr. Selectmen — Benjamin Ball, Benjamin 
Spaulding, David Spafford, Jr., Thomas War- 
ren, Thomas Seaver. 
Representative, Daniel Adams. 


1789. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Benjamin Ball. 

Selectmen — Benjamin Ball, Benjamin Spaulding, 
David Spafford, Jr., Daniel Adams, Jr., John 
Representative, Daniel Adams. 

1790. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Daniel Adams, 

Jr. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Jr., Benjamin 
Spaulding, John Campbell, Richard Wyer, 
Lemuel Petts. 
Representative, Daniel Adams. 

1791. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Daniel Adams, 

Jr. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Jr., Benjamin 
Spaulding, Nathan Conant, John Campbell, 
John Emery. 

1792. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Daniel Adams, 

Jr. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Jr., Lemuel 
Petts, Jonathan Wallis, John Campbell, Nathan 
Representative, Jonathan Wallis. 

1793. Moderator, Daniel Adams; Clerk, Lite Baldwin. 

Selectmen — Life Baldwin, Daniel Adams, Jr., 
John Campbell, Jonathan Wallace, Zacheriah 
Representative, Jonathan Wallace. 

1794. Moderator, Walden Stone ; Clerk, Walden Stone. 

Selectmen — Life Baldwin, John Campbell, Jona- 
than Wallis, Abner Adams, Thomas Seaver. 
Sent no Representative. 


1795. Moderator, Walden Stone; Clerk, Jacob Blodget. 

Selectmen — ^Jacob Blodget, Abner Adams, John 
Emery, Samuel Stone, Nathan Scales. 
Sent no Representative. 

1796. Moderator, Daniel Adams ; Clerk, Jacob Blodget. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Jacob Blodget, Ab- 
ner Adams, John Emery, Samuel Stone. 
Representative, Daniel Adams. 

1797. Moderator, John Campbell ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Jacob Blodget, Ab- 
ner Adams, Samuel Stone, Josiah Richardson. 
Representative, Daniel Adams. 

1798. Moderator, Jonathan Wallis ; Clerk, Isaac Mulli- 

kin. Selectmen — Walter Mullikin, Jacob Blod- 
get, Abner Adams, Josiah Richardson, Samuel 

Sent no Representative. 

1799. Moderator, John Campbell ; Clerk, Isaac Mullikin. 

Selectmen — Isaac Mullikin, Abner Adams, Jo- 
siah Richardson, John Emery, Samuel Brooks. 
Representative, John Campbell. 

1800. Moderator, Daniel Adams ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Abner Adams, Jo- 
siah Richardson, Samuel Brooks, John Emery. 
Representative, John Campbell. 

1801. Moderator, Caleb Sylvester : Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Josiah Richardson, 
Joseph Adams, Abner Adams, Caleb Sylvester. 
Representative, John Campbell. 


1802. Moderator, Caleb Sylvester; Clerk, Isaac Mulli- 

kin. Selectmen — Isaac Mullikin. John Camp- 
bell, Jonathan Keep, Samuel Stone. Daniel 
Sent no Representative. 

1803. Moderator, John Campbell : Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Abner Adams, John 
Campbell, Josiah Richardson, Jacob Blodget. 
Sent no Representative. 

1804. Moderator, John Campbell ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Daniel Adams. John Campbell. 
Jacob Blodget. Benanuel Pratt, Shubal C. 
Sent no Representative. 

1805. Moderator, Caleb Sylvester: Clerk, Josiah Rich- 

ardson. Selectmen — ^Josiah Richardson, John 
Emery, Daniel Conant, Ebenezer Stone, Richard 
Representative, John Campbell. 

1806. Moderator, Daniel i\dams ; Clerk, Josiah Rich- 

ardson. Selectmen — Josiah Richardson, John 
Emery, Daniel Conant, Ebenezer Stone, Richard 
Representative, John Campbell. 

1807. Moderator, Daniel Conant; Clerk, Josiah Rich- 

ardson. Selectmen — Josiah Richardson, John 
Emery. Daniel Conant, Ebenezer Stone. Richard 
Representative. Abner Adams. 


1808. Moderator, Daniel Adams ; Clerk, Josiah Rich- 

ardson. Selectmen — Josiah Richardson, Ebene- 
zer Stone, Aaron Warren, Samuel Brooks, 
Nathaniel Cummings. 
Representative, Abner Adams. 

1809. Moderator, John Emery ; Clerk, Josiah Richard- 

son. Selectmen — Josiah Richardson, Aaron 
Warren, Samuel Brooks, Nathaniel Cummings, 
Noah Ball. 
Sent no Representative. 

1 810. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Josiah Rich- 

ardson. Selectmen — Josiah Richardson, Aaron 
Warren, Samuel Brooks, Nathaniel Cummings, 
William Archibald. 
Representative, Abner Adams. 

181 1. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Samuel Brooks. 

Selectmen — Samuel Brooks, Richard Warner, 
Aaron Warren, Nathaniel Cummings, William 
Representative, Samuel Brooks. 

181 2. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Samuel Brooks. 

Selectmen — Samuel Brooks, Richard Warner, 
Aaron Warren, Nathaniel Cummings, William 
Representative, Samuel Brooks. 

1 81 3. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Samuel Brooks. 

Selectmen — Samuel Brooks, Aaron Warren, 
Nathaniel Cummings, William x\rchibald, Joseph 
Representative, Samuel Brooks. 


1814. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Samuel Brooks. 

Selectmen — Samuel Brooks, Aaron Warren. 
William Archibald, Joseph Adams, Eliab 
Representative, Samuel Brooks. 

1815. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Samuel Brooks. 

Selectmen — Samuel Brooks, Joseph Adams. 
Eliab Going, Nathaniel Cummings, Isaac San- 
Representative, Samuel Brooks. 

1816. Moderator, Josiah Richardson ; Clerk, Nathaniel 

Cummings. Selectmen — Nathaniel Cummings, 
Josiah Richardson, Isaac Sanders, Zela Bartlett. 
Solomon Jewett. 
Representative, Samuel Brooks. 

181 7. Moderator, Aaron Warren : Clerk, Nathaniel 

Cummings. Selectmen — Nathaniel Cummings, 
Josiah Richardson, Isaac Sanders, Benanuel 
Pratt, Joel Adams. 
Representative, Samuel Brooks. 

1818. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Nathaniel 

Cummings. Selectmen — Nathaniel Cummings. 
Samuel Brooks, Aaron Warren. 
Sent no Representative. 

1819. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Nathaniel 

Cummings. Selectmen — Nathaniel Cummings. 
Samuel Brooks, Aaron Warren. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 


1820. Moderator, Aaron Warren : Clerk, Nathaniel 

Cummings. Selectmen — Nathaniel Cummings, 
Samuel Brooks, Isaac Turner. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 

1821. Moderator, Aaron Warren ; Clerk, Aaron Warren. 

Selectmen — Aaron Warren, Samuel Stone, Jr., 
John Shipley. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 

1822. Moderator, Nathaniel Cummings; Clerk, Aaron 

Warren. Selectmen — Aaron Warren, Samuel 
Stone, Jr., Daniel Giles. 
Sent no Representative. 

1823. Moderator, Aaron Keyes : Clerk, Aaron Warren. 

Selectmen — Aaron Warren, Samuel Stone, Jr., 
Daniel Giles. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 

1824. Moderator, William A. Bancroft: Clerk, Aaron 

Warren. Selectmen — Aaron Warren, Joel 
Adams, Joel Spaulding. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 

1825. Moderator, Joel Adams: Clerk, Joel x\dams. 

Selectmen — ^Joel Adams, Joel Spaulding, Josiah 
G. Heald. 
Sent no Representative. 

1826. Moderator, x\aron Warren ; Clerk, Aaron Warren. 

Selectmen — Aaron Warren, Josiah G. Heald, 
Samuel Brooks, Aaron Keyes, William Pratt. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 


1827. Moderator, Solomon Jewett, Jr. ; Clerk, Aaron 

Warren. Selectmen — Aaron Warren, Samuel 
Stone, Jr., William Pratt, Joel Spaulding, 
Aaron Keyes. 
Representative, Aaron Warren.* 

1828. Moderator, Jacob S. Ryner ; Clerk, Aaron War- 

ren. Selectmen — Aaron Warren, William Pratt, 
Josiah G. Heald, Paul Gerrish, Aaron Keyes. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 

1829. Moderator, Solomon Jewett, Jr. ; Clerk, Aaron 

Warren. Selectmen — Aaron Warren, William 
Pratt, Paul Gerrish, Aaron Keyes, Richard W. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 

1830. Moderator, Solomon Jewett, Jr. : Clerk, Aaron 

Warren. Selectmen — Paul Gerrish, Aaron 
Keyes, Richard W. Pierce, Solomon Jewett, 
Jr., Benjamin Barrett, Jr. 
Representative, Aaron Warren. 

1831. Moderator, Solomon Jewett, Jr. ; Clerk, Solomon 

Jewett, Jr., Selectmen — Solomon Jewett, Jr., 
Richard W. Pierce, Benjamin Barrett, Jr., 
Josiah G. Heald, Isaac Spaulding. 
Sent no Representative. 

*In 18-27, "Voted that the town will abolish the custom of receiving a treat from 
their representative when chosen." Townsend commenced early in the temperance 
cause. Aaron Warren, this year, instead of furnishing the Ihiuors, jiresented an 
expensive pall or burying-cloth to the town. This might liave licen intended as a 
symbol of public opinion which was preparing to bury His Majesty, King Alcohol. 



1832. Moderator, Aaron Keyes ; Clerk, Solomon Jewett, 

Jr. Selectmen — Solomon Jewett, Jr., Richard 
W. Pierce, Benjamin Barrett, Jr., Joel Emer}-, 
Levi Sherwin. 
Representative, Paul Gerrish. 

1833. Moderator, Joel Adams; Clerk, David Palmer, 

Selectmen — Solomon Jewett, Jr,, Richard W, 
Pierce, Benjamin Barrett, Jr., Levi Ball, Abra- 
ham Seaver. 
Representative, David Palmer. 

1834. Moderator, Henry Sceva ; Clerk, Paul Gerrish. 

Selectmen — Paul Gerrish, Joel Emery, William 
Representatives, David Palmer and Elnathan 

1835. Moderator, Joseph Steele; Clerk, Paul Gerrish. 

Selectmen — Paul Gerrish, William Pratt, Benja- 
min Barrett, Jr. 
Representatives, Joel Emer}' and David Palmer, 

1836. Moderator, Samuel Adams ; Clerk, David Palmer. 

Selectmen — Quincy Sylvester, Luther Adams, 
Daniel Adams. 
Representatives, Joel Emery and Samuel Adams. 

1837. Moderator, Samuel Adams; Clerk, David Palmer. 

Selectmen — ^Joel Adams, Levi Ball, Elnathan 
Representative, Joel Emery. 


1838. Moderator, Henry Sceva ; Clerk, David Palmer. 

Selectmen — William Pratt, Benjamin Barrett, 
Jr., Paul Gerrish. 
Representative, Josiah G. Heald. 

1839. Moderator, Ezra Blood ; Clerk, Samuel Adams. 

Selectmen — Joel Adams, Joel Emery, Luther 
Representative, Luther Adams. 

1840. Moderator, Henry Sceva ; Clerk, John Bertram. 

Selectmen — Joel Emery, Richard W. Pierce, 
William Pratt. 
Representative, Daniel Giles. 

1841. Moderator, Henry Sceva; Clerk, John Bertram. 

Selectmen — Henry Sceva, Ebenezer Rawson, 
Henry A. Woods. 
Sent no Representative. 

1842. Moderator, Henry Sceva; Clerk, John Bertram. 

Selectmen — Henry Sceva, Henry A. Woods, 
Luther Adams. 
Representative, Henry Sceva. 

1843. Moderator, Ezra Blood; Clerk, Daniel Giles. 

Selectmen — Paul Gerrish, Luther Adams, Daniel 
Representative, Henry Sceva. 

1844. Moderator, Ezra Blood ; Clerk, Daniel Giles. 

Selectmen — Paul Gerrish, Daniel x\dams, Luther 
Sent no Representative. 


1845. Moderator, Samuel Adams; Clerk, Daniel Giles. 

Selectmen — John Scales, Levi Stearns, Ebenezer 
Sent no Representative. 

1846. Moderator, Daniel Adams ; Clerk, Daniel Giles. 

Selectmen — John Scales, Joseph Adams, John 
Representative, Levi Warren. 

1847. Moderator, Ezra Blood, Jr. ; Clerk, Joseph 

Adams. Selectmen — Joseph Adams, Levi 
Stearns, John Hart. 
Representative, Joel Kendall. 

1848. Moderator, Ezra Blood, Jr. ; Clerk, Joseph Adams. 

Selectmen — Joseph Adams, Levi Stearns, Joel 
Representative, Joel Emery. 

1849. Moderator, Ezra Blood, Jr. ; Clerk, Joseph Adams. 

Selectmen — Joel Emery, Luther Adams, Ezra 
Blood, Jr. 
Representative, Samuel Hart. 

1850. Moderator, Ezra Blood ; Clerk, Joseph Adams. 

Selectmen — Joseph Adams, John Scales, Zimri 
Representative, Henry A. Gerry. 

1851. Moderator, Charles Powers: Clerk, Henry A. 

Gerry. Selectmen — Charles Powers, Aaron 
Pressey, Joel Emery. 
Representative, Samuel S. Haynes. 


1852. Moderator, Levi Sherwin ; Clerk, Qiiinc}' A. Syl- 

vester. Selectmen — Quincy A. Sylvester, Levi 
Sherwin, Nathaniel F. Cummings. 
Sent no Representative. 

1853. Moderator, Abram S. French; Clerk, Quincy A. 

Sylvester. Selectmen — Daniel Adams, Nathan- 
iel F. Cummings, Charles B. Barrett. 
Sent no Representative. 

1854. Moderator, Samuel Adams ; Clerk, Daniel Ad- 

ams. Selectmen — ^Joseph Adams, Levi Stearns. 
Charles B. Barrett. 
Representative, Benjamin E. Wetherbee. 

1855. Moderator, Ezra Blood ; Clerk, Rector T. Bart- 

lett. Selectmen — Nathaniel F. Cummings, Ezra 
Blood, James E. Adams. 
Representative, Frederick A. Worcester. 

1856. Moderator, Eliab Going ; Clerk, Rector T. Bart- 

lett. Selectmen — Nathaniel F. Cummings, Dan- 
iel Adams, Alexander Craig. 
Representative, Luther Adams. 

1857. Moderator, Eliab Going ; Clerk, Rector T. Bart- 

lett. Selectmen — Henry Sceva, Albert Howe. 
Benjamin E. Wetherbee. 
Representative, Frederick A. Worcester, of Town- 

'Townsend and Ashby coiiistituted District No. -27, tliis year. 


1858. Moderator, Ezra Blood ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — Joseph Adams, William H. Lewis, 
Zimri Sherwin. 
Representative, Noah Ball, of Townsend. 

1859. Moderator, Ezra Blood ; Clerk, Daniel Adams. 

Selectmen — John Scales, Jr., John Whitcomb, 
Jonathan Pierce. 
Representative, Alexander Craig, of Townsend. 

i860. Moderator, Christopher Gates ; Clerk, Daniel iVd- 
ams. Selectmen — John Scales, Jr., Alexander 
Craig, Benjamin F. Lewis. 
Representative, Joseph Foster, of Ashby. 

1861. Moderator, Ezra Blood ; Clerk, Ezra Blood. Se- 

lectmen — Nathaniel F. Cummings, Alexander 
Craig, Benjamin F. Lewis. 
Representative, Abram S. French, of Townsend. 

1862. Moderator, Edwin A. Larkin ; Clerk, Noah 

Wallace. Selectmen — Nathaniel F. Cummings, 
Alexander Craig, Benjamin F. Lewis. 
Representative, Abram S. French, of Townsend. 

1863. Moderator, Samuel S. Haynes ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Nathaniel F. Cummings, 
Oliver H. Pratt, Charles H. Warren. 
Representative, Paul Gates, of Ashby. 

1864. Moderator, Stillman Haynes ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Nathaniel F. Cummings, 
James N. Tucker, Newton C. Boutell. 
Representative, Anson D. Fessenden, of Town- 


1865. Moderator, Stillman Haynes ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Oliver Proctor, Stillman 
Haynes, Abel G. Stearns. 
Representative, George L. Hitchcock, of Ashbv. 

1866. Moderator, Samuel S. Haynes ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, Noah 
Ball, Edwin A. Larkin. 
Representative, Noah Wallace, of Townsend. 

1867. Moderator, Christopher Gates; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, Benjamin 
F. Lewis, Edwin A. Larkin. 
Representative, Jonathan Pierce, of Townsend.* 

1868. Moderator, Christopher Gates ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, Edwin 
A. Larkin, Jonathan Pierce. 
Representative, A. A. Plympton, of Shirley. 

1869. Moderator, Christopher Gates ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, Charles 
Osgood, Benjamin Brown. 
Representative, Samuel R. Damon, of Ashby. 

1870. Moderator, Christopher Gates ; Clerk, Daniel 

Adams. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, Charles 
Osgood, Benjamin Brown. 
Representative, Benjamin F. Lewis, of Townsend. 

*In 1867, Townsend, Ashby and Shii-ley, constituted a representative district. 
Middlesex county was entitled to forty-one of the two hundred and forty members of 
the House of Representatives. 


1871. Moderator, Ithamar B. Sawtelle ; Clerk, Chris- 

topher Gates. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, 
Benjamin Brown, Joshua S. Page. 
Representative, Alvin Lavvton, of Shirley. 

1872. Moderator, Ithamar B. Sawtelle; Clerk, Chris- 

topher Gates. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, 
Benjamin Brown, Joshua S. Page. 
Representative, Samuel S. Haynes, of Townsend. 

1873. Moderator, Ithamar B. Sawtelle; Clerk, Chris- 

topher Gates. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, 
Benjamin Brown, Joshua S. Page. 
Representative, Alonzo A. Carr, of Ashby. 

1874. Moderator, Albert L. Fessenden ; Clerk, Christo- 

pher Gates. Selectmen — Charles Osgood, Eliot 
Moore, Ephraim S. Wilder. 
Representative, Edwin A. Spaulding, of Town- 

1875. Moderator, Albert L. Fessenden; Clerk, Chris- 

topher Gates. Selectmen — Charles Osgood, 
Ephraim S. Wilder, George A. Upton. 
Representative, Samuel Longley, of Shirle\'. 

1876. Moderator, Ithamar B. Sawtelle ; Clerk, Christo- 

pher Gates. Selectmen — Ephraim S. Wilder, 
Abel G. Stearns, Eugene R. Kilbourn. 
Representative, Alfred M. Adams, of Townsend.* 

*In 1S7(5, Ayer, Ashbv. Shirley and Townsend. constituted one representative 


1877. Moderator, Ithamar B. Sawtelle ; Clerk, Christo- 

pher Gates. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, Ben- 
jamin Brown, Benjamin Henecy. 
Representative, George V. Barrett, of Ayer. 

1878. Moderator, Ithamar B. Sawtelle ; Clerk, William 

P. Taylor. Selectmen — Abel G. Stearns, Ben- 
jamin Brown, Edwin A. Spaulding. 

The following is a list of the Justices of the Peace, 
in Tovvnsend, since its incorporation in 1732 : — 

John Stevens, Hiram Walcott, 

Israel Hobart, Samuel Jenkins, 

James Locke, Frederick A. Worcester, 

Daniel Adams, Levi Stearns, 

Isaac Mullikin, James N. Tucker, 

JosiAH Richardson, Noah Ball, 

Samuel Brooks, Henry Sceva, 

Aaron Warren, Hartwell Graham, 

Walter Hastings, Ephraim S. Wilder, 

Shobal C. Allen, Stillman Haynes, 

Richard Warner, Ithamar B. Sawtelle, 

Levi Sherwin, Albert Howe, 

Aaron Keyes, George Taft. 

The town, in the choice of its officers, especiall}' dur- 
ing the early part of its existence, invariably put the 
right men in the right place. For example, in 1735 ^ the 
town "chose Capt. John Stevens to appear at the General 
Court to get the lands subjected," that is, have a law 
passed whereby non-residents' land should be taxed. 
"Voted that he shall ask the Honorable Court for two 
pence an acre for the first year, and one penn}- for the 
next two years." John Stevens was a field surveyor, and 
had a large acquaintance in Middlesex county. 


The court granted the request of the town, and for a 
long time the tax on non-residents' lands was a penny an 
acre. The payers of this tax, living in the oldest settled 
towns in the province, were men of wealth, and some of 
them were members of the Assembly, which acceded to 
the request of the town, made through Capt. Stevens. 
Thirty pounds of the penny acre "rait" were appropriated 
"toward finishing some part of the meeting house." 

In 1738, "Voted that Capt. John Stevens appear in 
the name and behalf of the town, to desire of the town of 
Groton, that the bridge over the great river, in said town, 
be forthwith rebuilt, or upon their refusal to make applica- 
tion at Quarter Sessions next to be holden at Concord, 
that a county road may forthwith be laid out through 

For a time, this was delayed ; but the Townsend 
people were determined to have a county road laid out 
from this town to Groton, which would require a bridge 
over the Nashua, where the Fitch bridge now stands. 
James Locke, Jr., with suitable assistance, surveyed a 
route for this road, and drew a plan of it, which was pre- 
sented to the Court. (This plan may now be seen in the 
office of the Secretary of State, volume 4, page 51, an- 
cient plans and maps.) A county road, according to the 
plan, was ordered by the Court. Groton felt aggrieved 
because the town was obliged to build and maintain so 
many bridges, and claimed that Townsend should be 
compelled to bear one-half of the expense of the bridge, 
according to Locke's survey, which was greatly for the 
benefit of Townsend.* 

Butler's )ii.<tory of Groton, page 55. 


Groton had as many bridges over the Nashua, in 175 1, 
as at the present time, and in nearly the same places. 
The present road between Tovvnsend and Groton, after 
entering the limits of the town of Pepperell, is situated 
further north than the one surveyed and accepted for the 
county road, at that time, which is now discontinued. 
Considerable feeling was manifested between the citizens 
of the two towns. The people of Townsend accomplished 
their object, whether justly or not, through the adroit 
management of two or three sharp men. 

It appears that wild animals, either ferocious or timid, 
were not numerous here, when the town was settled. The 
bear and the wolf had receded from the sound of the 
woodman's axe. Occasionally one of these animals would 
make a raid on the flocks and herds. Eldad Bailey, a 
truthful old gentleman, now eighty-seven years old, says 
that he saw Capt. Zacheriah Hildreth shoot a bear near 
his (Mr. Bailey's) house, when he was a boy. The ani- 
mal had a piece of a log chain-link in his body, which he 
probably received from the gun of an Ashb}- man who 
shot at him with that ammunition, a considerable time pre- 
vious to his capture. Deer in pairs, and in small herds, 
were seen at times. An effort was made, for a long time, 
to protect these animals from the pitiless marksmen. Two 
officers were annually chosen, called deer-reeves, whose 
duty it was to inform if any one molested the deer at cer- 
tain times during the 3'ear, and to assist in punishing the 
offenders against the regulation of the town concerning 
that animal. 


In 1734, the town chose three hog-reeves. The duty 
of these officers was to take care of the hogs, which were 
allow^ed to run at large for more than eighty years after 
the incorporation of the town. The hogs "were rung," as 
it was called ; that is, a piece of wire was put through the 
upper part of the hog's snout, bent in the form of a ring, 
and twisted together at the ends. When the creature 
commenced subsoiling, the wire would cause pain and 
prevent the operation. The animals were prevented from 
going through fences, by a wooden yoke. If the citizens 
neglected to put this regalia on their porcine workmen, 
the hog-reeves were obliged to do it for them for which a 
regular fee was allowed. A little mirth always attended 
the election of these officers. The three latest married 
men were sure to be chosen on this board. No one ever 
became angry, or considered himself insulted, bv being 
honored with the office, but patiently waited to see how 
much fun he could have with his successors. 

During the time that the town constituted one parish, 
tithing-men were chosen, at each annual town meeting, 
whose duty it was to see that the Sabbath was properly 
observed, and particularly that people attended public 
worship on that day. At the present day, and for the 
last twent3'-tive 3'ears, the tithing-men of Townsend have 
been elected from that class of persons who seldom or 
never attend sanctuary services, or trouble themselves, in 
the least, about what is done on the Sabbath dav. 



Marriages of Townseiul People from the Incorporation of the Town 
to the Piesent Time. 

The following account of the marriages of Townsend 
people was drawn from various sources and different 
records. It contains every marriage, of w^hich there is 
any record to be found, performed within the tirst hundred 
years after the incorporation of the town. The records 
made by the Rev. Mr. Hemenway concerning baptisms 
are very full, but the names of many parties joined in 
wedlock by him, are not on record. Mr. Dix and Mr. 
Palmer have both left a complete record of the marriages 
performed by them. The orthography of the christian 
names has been preserved, so that Rebecca, Sibyl, and 
other names, will be found spelled differently. Should 
this chapter appear too long to the reader, let it be borne 
in mind that marriage is the key to domestic life. Perhaps 
genealogists yet unborn will run it over with interest. 

Marriages performed by Rev. Phinehas Hemenway : 

1737. Januar}' 4, Thomas Hadley, Townsend, Sarah 
Wheeler, Townsend. 

Joshua Wheeler, Townsend, Mehitabel 

Hadlev, Groton. 


1738. March i, Jonathan Stevens, Townsend, Sarah 

S artel 1, Groton. 

May 24, Timothy Whitney, Townsend, Submit 
Parker, Groton. 

September 15, Nathaniel Richardson, Townsend, 
Elizabeth Stevens, Chelmstbrd. 

Samuel Wheeler, Townsend, Ruth 

Wheeler, Lancaster. 

1739. June 6, John Brown, Townsend, Mary Stevens, 


1741. December 2, Zacheriah Emery, Townsend, Esther 

Stevens, Townsend. 

1742. June 23, Jonas Woolson, Nevy Ipswich, N. H., 

Susanna Wallis, Townsend. . 

September 14, John Coftran, Suncook, N. H., 
Margaret Waugh, Townsend. 

1743. March i, Isaac Farrar, Townsend, Sarah Brooks, 


March i, Daniel Adams, Townsend, Keziah 
Brooks, Townsend. 

1745. September 3, Benjamin King, Towaisend, Sarah 

Taylor, Townsend. 

March 19, Seth Brooks, Townsend, Elizabeth 
Stevens, Townsend. 

1746. December 16, David Sloan, Townsend, Lydia 

Melvin, Townsend. 

1749. December 5, William Richee, Peterborough, N.H., 

Mary Waugh, Townsend. 

June 22, Joseph Rumrill. Townsend, Lucy 
Stevens, Tow^nsend. 

1750. December 13, William Stevens, Townsend, Sybil 

Farnsworth, Groton. 

December 13, Jonas Stevens, Townsend, Ruth 
Farrar, Concord. 

December 15, Jonah Farwell, Groton. Lydia 
Farnsworth. Groton. 


1751. December 26, John Robb, Peterborough, N. H., 

Elizabeth Creiton, Townsend. 

1752. January 9, John Avery, Townsend, Mary Farns- 

worth, Groton. 

1753. March 27, Samuel Manning, Jr., Townsend, 

Abiza Avery, Townsend. 

June 27, Jonathan Patt, Townsend, Sarah Hosley, 

1754. January 17, William Clark, Jr., Townsend, Sarah 

Locke, Townsend. 

February 14, John Chandler, New Ipswich, N. H., 
Lydia Taylor, Townsend. 

1756. December 14, Joseph Baldwin, Townsend, Mary 

Searles, Townsend. 

1757. May 30, Samuel Lawrence, No. i, Mary Avery, 


March 24, Andrew Spaulding, New Ipswich, 
N. H., Abigail Martyn, Pepperell. 

April '27, Daniel Taylor, Townsend, Elizabeth 
Cummings, Dunstable. 

December 22, Jonathan Crosby, 3d, New Ipswich, 
N. H., Lydia Chandler, Westford. 

1758. March 30, Andrew Searles, Townsend, Lienor 

Heald, Townsend. 

April 20, Josiah Robbins, Townsend, Hannah 
Lams, Hollis, N. H. 

May 24, Peter Heald, Sliptown, Sarah Belcher, 

September 25, Nathaniel Sartell, Townsend, 
Katherine Hemenway, Townsend. 

November 23, Ebenezer Hemenway, Dorchester 
Canada, Elizabeth Moor, Dorchester Canada. 

December 14, John Stevens, Hollis, N. H., 
Mary Boson, Townsend. 


1759. March 15, Oliver Heywood, Townsend, Anna 

Taylor, Townsend. 

March 21, Jeremiah Ball, Townsend, Mary 
Stevens, Townsend. 

May 24, Ebenezer Giles, Townsend, Esther 
Baldwin, Townsend. 

November 6, John Wallis, Jr., Townsend, Martha 
Pudney, New Ipswich, N. H. 

December 14, Jason Russell, Harvard, Elizabeth 
Farwell, Townsend. 

1760. January 8, Thomas Heald, New Ipswich, N. H., 

Sybel Adams, New Ipswich, N. H. 

February 6, John Button, New Ipswich, N. H., 
Susanna Ball, Townsend. 

April 22, Isaac Wallis, Townsend, Jane Russell, 

These are all the marriages on record, performed by 
Rev. Mr. Hemenway. Twelve leaves have been cut out 
of the first book of church records, apparentlv with some 
dull instrument, and in a very rough manner. Whether 
these leaves contained marriage records is unknown, but 
the presumption is that they did, for the ministers of those 
times kept these records. 

Marriages performed by Rev. Samuel Dix : — 

1761. March 4, Richard Richardson, Townsend, Eliza- 

beth Barrett, Townsend, 

July 13, David Holden, Townsend, Sarah Hemen- 
wa}', Townsend. 

July 22, Samuel Sanderson, Townsend, Lydia 
Boynton, Townsend. 

October 20, Mr. David Taylor, Concord, Mrs. 
Sarah Hemenwa}-, Townsend. 

November 7, John Patt, Townsend, Bathsheba 
Wood, Townsend. 


1762. April 12, Ephraim Warren, Townsend, Sarah 

Keazer, Groton. 

August 26, Timothy Chandler, Townsend, Mary 
Walker, Pepperell. 

1763. January 8, Alexander Mcintosh, Milestrip, N. H.. 

Mary Graham, Townsend. 

February i6, Ebenezer Baldwin, Townsend, Mary 
Hubbard, Townsend. 

October 6, Benjamin Ball, Townsend, Rachel 
Boynton, Townsend. 

December 8, Ebenezer Albee, Townsend, Rachel 
Avery, Townsend. 

1764. February 21, Josiah Robbins, No. i, Marv 

Campbell, Townsend. 

April 3, Stephen Hildreth, Westford, Esther 
Manning, Townsend. 

May 29, Samuel Douglass, Slip Town, N. H., 
Molly Conant, Townsend. 

June 15, John Nichols, Lancaster, Silence Stow. 

December 19, Levi Whitney, Townsend, Rebecca 
Clark, Townsend. 

December 19, William Barrett, No. i. Sarah 
Robbins, No. i. 

1765. January 28, Robert Waugh, New Ipswich, N. H., 

Elizabeth White, Townsend. 

April 12, Benjamin Wheeler, Pepperell, Hannah 
Davis, Townsend. 

June 13, David Brown, Groton, Lydia Stevens, 

June 13, Nathan Conant, Townsend, Betty 
Stevens, Townsend. 

December 5, Benjamin Spaulding, Townsend, 
Mary Heald, Townsend. 

^ December 11, John Swallow, No. i, Mollv 
Hall, No. I. 


1765. December 11, John Jetts, No. i, Lois Lawrence, 

No. I. 

James Stevens, Jr., Townsend, Martha 

Brooks, New Ipswich, N. H. 

1766. November 13, Abraham Gates, Townsend, Su- 

sanna Whittemore, Dunstable. 

December 25, John Graham, Townsend, Margaret 
Sloan, Townsend. 

1767. December i, Benjamin Jefts, No. i, Martha 

Sloan, Townsend. 

December 8, Robert Campbell, Jr., Townsend, 
Elizabeth Waugh, Townsend. 

1768. Abijah Wyman, Ashby, Betty Stearns, 


■ Eldad Spafford, Townsend, Lucy 

Spaulding, Townsend. 

December 22, Peter Butterfield, Townsend, 
Hannah Butrick, Townsend. 

"1769. January 5, Abijah Joslin, Ashburnham, Keziah 
Farrar, Townsend. 

January 11, Lemuel Patt, Townsend. Hannah 
Butterfield, Townsend. 

February i, Joseph Blood, Mason, N. H., Ruth 
Dunster, Mason, N. H. 

February 14, Joseph Davis, Ashby, Sarah Camp- 
bell, Townsend. 

June 28, William Withington, Ashby, Martha 
Locke, Ashby. 

November — , Benjamin Wilson, Townsend. Din;h. 
Baldwin, Townsend. 

December 19, David Baldwin, Pepperell, Elizabeth 
Boynton, Townsend. 

December 21, James Campbell, Townsend. 
Rebeckah Adams, Townsend. 

1770. November — , Thomas Hubbard, Townsend, 
Hannah Conant, Townsend. 


1771. May 30, Edmund Tarbold, Mason, N. H., Mary 

Hildreth, Townsend. 

July 10, Jonathan Robbins, Chelmsford, Elizabeth 
Emery, Townsend. 

August 15, Johrj Conant, Townsend, Sarah 
Farrar, Townsend. 

September 17, Henry Price, Esq., Townsend, 
Lydia Randall, Townsend. 

September 24, Thomas Eaton, Townsend, Lucy 
Davis, Townsend. 

October 17, Seth Robbins, Mason, N. H.. Sarah 
Scripture, Mason, N. H. 

December 24, Nathaniel Bowers, Jr., Pepperell, 
Sarah Sartell, Townsend. 

1772. February 6, Andrew Ross, Mason, N. H., 

Rebeckah Robbins, Mason, N. H. 

February 6, Joseph Giles, Townsend, Mary 
Whitney, Townsend. 

February 7, Jonathan Darby, Ashby, Mahitabel 
Wheeler, Ashby. 

May 20, James Hildreth, Townsend, Esther 
Fletcher, Westtbrd. 

May 21, Daniel Adams, Jr., Townsend, Lvdia 
Taylor, Townsend. 

July 8, John Lawrence, Mason, N. H., Lefe 
Holden, Mason, N. H. 

August 20, Benjamin Wilson, Townsend, Bath- 
sheba Patts, Townsend. 

September 10, Jason Williams, Cambridge. 
Abagail Albee, Townsend. 

John Cragin, Temple. Sarah Spaulding. 


John Meeds, Ashby. Mary Winship, 


December — , Aaron Eaton, Ashb}', Marv 
Wheeler, Ashbv. 


1773. January 19, Jotham White, Townsend, Katherine 

Read, Townsend. 

February 4, Nathan Conant, Townsend, Esther 
Emery, Townsend. 

May 20, Jacob Upton, Ashby, Mary Chirke, 

October 14, Phineas Hemenway, Groton, Elizabeth 
Taylor, Groton. 

1774. February 23, David Pierce, Billerica, Sarah 

Stevens, Townsend. 

December 20, Asa Heald, Townsend, Rebeckah 
Merrill, Townsend. 

1775. March 30, Aaron Scott, Townsend, Elizabeth 

Wallis, Townsend. 

April 13, Thaddeus Smith, Ashb3s Saleme Jones. 

October — , Jonas Fitch, Pepperell, Annie 
Shattuck, Pepperell. 

November 9, Joseph Adams, , Lucy Blood, 


1776. February 15, Elijah Shattuck, Pepperell, Olive 

Read, Pepperell. 

February 15, Abijah Mosier, Pepperell, Hannah 
Varnum, Pepperell. 

February 15, Oliver Proctor, Jr.. Townsend, 
Mary Manning, Billerica. 

February 29, Simeon Blanchard, New Ipswich, 
N. H., Elizabeth Shattuck, Pepperell. 

James Nutting, , Hepsibah Roll", 


April — , Abel Shattuck, Pepperell, Hannah 
Hobart, Groton. 

May 8, Jedediah Jewett, Pepperell. Rachel Blood, 

July 10, Eleazer Buttertield, Townsend, Mary 

Brad street, Townsend. 

Julv 16, Abner Brooks, Townsend, Anne Hobart, 


1776. April 3, Eleazer Shattuck, Pepperell, Mary Blood. 


October 28, William Blood, Townsend, Abagail 
Holt, Townsend. 

November 21, Andrew Mitchel, Lunenburg, Rox- 
anna McDonald, Hollis, N. H. 

December 3, Joseph Cutter, Jaftrey, N. H., Rachel 
Hobart, Pepperell. 

December 19, Nehemiah Tarbell, Groton, Martha 
Dodge, Groton. 

1777. March — , James Sloan, Townsend, Beulah Wil- 

son, Townsend. 

April 2, Samuel Nevers, Woburn. Anna Wyman. 

April 22, Thomas Warren, Jr., Townsend, Perses 
Heald, Townsend. 

April 29, Robert Ames, Groton, Mrs. Susanna 
Warren, Groton. 

April 29, William Stevens, Townsend, Abagail 
Green, Townsend. 

May 6, Joseph Cummings, Swansea, N. H., Lucy 
Warren, Groton. 

May 7, Josiah Spaulding, Westford, Jemima Shat- 
tuck, Pepperell. 

May 29, Joseph Heald, Pepperell, Elizabeth 
Hobart, Pepperell. 

May 29, Simon Green, Pepperell, Deborah Woods. 

June 3, Solomon Pearse, Townsend, Eunice Far- 
rar, Townsend. 

June 24, Phinehas Astan, Raby, N. H., Elizabeth 
Spaulding, Townsend. 

September i, Zachariah Hildreth, Townsend, 
Elizabeth Ke\^es, Westford. 

September 29, John Clark, Townsend, Dorcas 
Wyman, Townsend. 

October 7, Moses Warren, Townsend, Martha 
Reed, Townsend. 


1777. October 14, Abel Parker, Pepperell, Ede Jewett, 


November 26, Ebenezer Davis, Rindge, Mariah 
Whitney, Pepperell. 

December 24, Jeremiah Crosby, Pepperell, Eliza- 
beth Gilson, Pepperell. 

December 25, Samuel Cole, Falmouth, Mary 
Pearse, Pepperell. 

December 26, Jacob Baldwin, Jr., Townsend, 
Elizabeth Holt, Townsend. 

1778. January 14, Elijah Wyman, Townsend, Abagail 

Wetherby, Pepperell. 

February 24, Samuel Stone, Jr., Ashby, Sarah 
Wallis, Townsend. 

February 26, David Baldwin, Pepperell, Elizabeth 
" Blood, Pepperell. 

March 16, John Parker, , Abagail Blood, 


May 7, Daniel Spaulding, Townsend, Rebeckah 
Osgood, Raby, N. H. 

May 7, Nathaniel Sartell, Pepperell, Abagail 
Laughton, Pepperell. 

May 26, John Farwell, Harvard, Mrs. Sarah 
Warren, Townsend. 

July — , Benjamin Lawrence, Jr., Groton, Re- 
bekah Woods, Groton. 

July 16, Benjamin Adams, Townsend, Mary 
Stone, Ashby. 

October 29, Leonard Foster, Pepperell, Lucv 
Wetherbee, Pepperell. 

December 7, Rev. Nehemiah Porter, Ashfield, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Newell, Townsend. 

1779. January 21, Benjamin Hobart, Groton, Elizabeth 

Brooks, Townsend. 

January 28, Jacob Blodgett, Mason, N. H., Sarah 
Taylor, Townsend. 

January 29, Moses Shattuck, Pepperell. x\bigail 
Woods, Pepperell. 


1779. February ii, Moses Blood, Pepperell, Abigail 
Shattuck, Pepperell. 

March 4, Eleazar Davis, Townsend, Martha Ste- 
vens, Townsend. 

March 4, Josiah Davis, Townsend, Sarah Saw- 
tell, Townsend. 

May 27, Job Brooks, Temple, Sarah Hildreth. 

June 17, Isaac Warren, Groton, Eunice Farns- 
worth, Groton. 

-, Joseph Woods, , Mary Waugh. 


1780. March 9, Henry Turner, Townsend, Abigail 

Scott, Townsend. 

May — , Benjamin Brooks, 3d, Townsend, Emmy 
Richardson, Townsend. 

June — , Ephraim Warren, 3d, Townsend, Sarah 
Proctor, Townsend. 

July 13, Oliver Green, Pepperell, Dorothy Hil- 
dreth, Townsend. 

July 13, Benjamin Sartell, Townsend, Sybil Patt. 

November 13, Levi Whitney, Shrewsbury. Mrs. 
Lydia Price, Townsend. 

December 28, Jonathan Dix, Townsend, Mercy 
Wilson, Townsend. 

1781. February i, Hinksman Warren, Townsend, Esther 

Taylor, Townsend. 

February 8, Daniel Clark, Townsend, Sarah Rob- 
bins, Carlisle. 

February 13, John Hosley, Pepperell, Sarah 
Woods, Pepperell. 

February 22, Josiah Seward, Raby, N. H., Sarah 
Osgood, Raby, N. H. 

March 22, Caleb Blood, 3d, Groton, Hephzibah 
Jewett, Pepperell. 


1 781. April 3, Jonathan Coneck, Townsend, Zervia 
Wheelock, Townsend. 

June I, Dr. Samuel Hosley, Townsend, Mary 
Farrar, Townsend. 

June 21, Elijah Dodge, Townsend, Elizabeth 
Sartell, Townsend. 

August 23, Levi Proctor, Carlisle, Sarah Emery, 

September 20, Jonathan Barron, Pepperell, 
Rebekah Powers, Pepperell. 

October 4, Israel Sloan, Townsend, Rebekah 
Wilson, Townsend. 

December 10, Josiah Richardson, Townsend, 
Abigail Dix, Townsend. 

December 13, John S. Frary, Swansay, N. H., 
Joanna Wyman, Swansay, N. H. 

December 13, Daniel Holt, Jr., Townsend, Mary 
Butterfield, Townsend. 

December 13, Jonathan Pearse, Townsend, 
Hannah Perham, Townsend. 

1782. January 8, Nehemiah Blood, Pepperell. Abigail 
Sartell, Townsend. 

January 31, Isaac Kidder, Townsend, Susanna 
Sherwin, Townsend. 

March 7, Zacheus Witt, Jaffrey, N. H., Hannah 
Sartell, Townsend. 

March 7, George Woodward, Raby. N. H., Jane 
Wallis, Raby. N. H. 

May — , Elias Barron, Concord, Sarah Burge, 

, John Sherwin, Townsend, Keziah 

Adams, Townsend. 

May 30, David Hall, Mason, N. H., Margarett 
Graham, Townsend. 

June 13, Seth Johnson, Townsend, Betty Brown. 

June 19, Daniel Conant. Townsend. Millecent 
Farrar, Townsend. 


1782. July 2, Jonas Campbell, Townsend, Ruth Colburn. 


July 4, Daniel Campbell, Townsend, Lucy Emery, 

July 25, James Withy, Jr., Mason, N. H., Anna 
Brown, Mason, N. H. 

August 12, Jacob Wetherby, Mason, N. H., Grace 
Pattin, Raby, N. H. 

November 7, Benjamin Barrett, Mason, N. H., 
Hannah Scripture, Mason, N. H. 

, Nathaniel Healy, Worcester, Lois 

Maynard, Townsend. 

, Enoch Cummings, Swanzey, N. H.. 

Sarah Warren, Townsend. 

December 2, Asa Merrill, Townsend, Esther 
Warren, Townsend. 

December 10, Jonathan Jefts, Townsend, Lydia 
Hosley, Pepperell. 

, Samuel Buttrick, Townsend, Mrs. 

Sarah Richardson, Townsend. 

1783. February 12, Jonathan Patts, Jr., Townsend, 

Rebeicah Town, New Ipswich, N. H. 

March 4, Isaac Wallis, Jr., Townsend, Rebekah 
Farrar, Townsend. 

April 29, Abel Foster, Townsend, Mary Wood. 

May I, John Wright, Jr., Mason, N. H., Hannah 
Russell, Raby, N. H. 

May 6, Joseph Rumrill, Jr., Townsend, Abigail 
Lampson, Townsend. 

September i, Jesse Maynard, Townsend, Exercise 
Brown, Townsend. 

September 8, Samuel Scripture, Jr., Mason, 
N. H., Elizabeth Barrett, Mason, N. H. 

October i, Jedediah Jewett, Pepperell, Mrs. Mary 
Baldwin, Townsend. 

October i, Benjamin Ball, Townsend, Mary 
Farrar, Townsend. 


1783. November 25, Abraham Gates, Ashby, Lucy 

Rumrill, Townsend. 

November 25, Nathaniel Smith, Jr., Mason, N. H., 
Mary Barrett, Mason, N. H. 

December 11, Josiah Barnes, Concord, Lucy 
Hildreth, Townsend. 

, Jonathan Bailey Townsend, Sarah 

Holt, Townsend. 

December 25, James Proctor, Jr., Westtbrd, Esther 
Wright, Westford. 

1784. May 20, Abner Adams, Townsend, Molly Sartell, 


May 20, John Stevens, Jr., Townsend, Sarah 
Waugh, Townsend. 

June 30, Daniel Adams, Townsend, Mrs. Sarah 
Phelps, Lancaster. 

August 19, Josiah Richardson, Townsend, Su- 
sanna Wallis, Townsend. 

September 16, Daniel Lawrence, Townsend, Lucy 
Roe, Townsend. 

November 12, John Blood, Pepperell, Olive Ball. 

1785. February 7, Joseph Barrett, Mason, N. H., Jane 

Campbell, Townsend. 

February 22, Ephraim Lamson, Townsend, Marv 
Stevens, Townsend. 

May 12, Amos Blood, Pepperell, Sarah Blood, 

, Daniel Brown, Townsend, Mary Ball, 


October 31, Samuel Dix, Jr., Townsend, Chloe 
Dix, Reading. 

December 15, Jonathan Holt, Townsend, Hannah 
Adams, Townsend. 

December 15, Joseph Felt, Packersfield. Elizabeth 
Spafford, Townsend. 


1786. January — , John Atwell, Jr., Hollis, N. H., 

Rebekah Lawrence, . 

, Jesse Baldwin, Townsend, Chloe Gas- 
sett, Townsend. 

February 9, Samuel Stevens, Lancaster, Mary 
Wallace, Townsend. 

, Samuel Searle, Townsend, Hannah 

Butterfield, Townsend. 

March 4, Stephen Warren, Townsend, Mary 
Giles, Townsend. 

June 22, Elisha Sanders, Lunenburg, Pattv Duns- 
moor, Lunenburg. 

June 26, Ebenezer Ball, Jr., Townsend, Hannah 
Smith, Townsend. 

November 30, Isaac Farrar, Jr., Townsend, 
Hannah Dix, Townsend. 

December 14, Edward Tarble, Mason. N. H., 
Rachel Hildreth, Townsend. 

December 20, Phinehas Baldwin, Townsend, 
Sarah Searl, Townsend. 

1787. January i, Edward Richards, Rockingham, Vt.. 

Eunice Locke, Townsend. 

February i, Noah Hardy, Packersheld, Sarah 
Spaffbrd, Townsend. 

, Henry Jefts, Townsend, Elizabeth 

Waugh, Townsend. 

February 7, William Weston, Townsend, Rebekah 
Ball, Townsend. 

March i, William Wallace, Townsend, Polly 
Price, Townsend. 

March 15, John Giles, Townsend, Susey Baldwin, 

March 20, William Elliott, Mason, N. H., 
Rebekah Hildreth, Townsend. 

March 22, Nathaniel Shattuck, Pepperell, Hannah 
Ball, Townsend. 


1787. June 14, William Stacy, Townsend, Hannah 
Stevens, Townsend. 

, John Waugh, Jr., Townsend, Esther 

Spaulding, Townsend. 

October 4, Ebenezer Ball, Jr., Townsend, Phebe 
Wesson, Townsend. 

November 8, James Sloan, Townsend, Molly 
Searl, Townsend. 

1788. , John Emerson, Townsend, Keziah 

Brooks, Townsend. 

February 5, James Pratt, Halifax, Sarah Giles, 

February 7, Benjamin Wallis, Ashby, Betsey 
Walker, Ashby. 

, Josiah Bright, Ashby, Hepsy Rice. 


April 16, Jesse Maynard, Townsend, Sarah 
Richards, Townsend. 

April 26, George Farrar, Townsend, Rebekah 
Price, Townsend. 

October 30, Benjamin Wellington, Ashbv, Marv 
Hill, Ashby. 

November 27, Jonathan Pearse, Townsend, Esther 
Spaulding, Townsend. 

November 27, John Smith, Townsend, Hannah 
Shattuck, Townsend. 

November 27, John Gilson, Monkton, Lucy 
Darby, Ashby. 

December 16, Joseph Hey wood, Chelmstbrd. 
Susannah Ball, Chelmsford. 

1789. . Asa Stevens, Townsend, Sarah Hodg- 

man, Ashby. 

, Joseph Pingrey, Salisbur^■. N. H.. 

Sarah Sanders, Ashby. 

February 7, David Spafford, Townsend, Lucy 
Sherwin, Townsend. 

March 19, Benjamin Spaulding, Townsend, S\bil 
Wallis, Townsend. 



1789. April — , Asa Heald, Townsend, Jerusha Carter, 


May 6, John Giles, Townsend, Marv x\danis. 
Raby, N. H. 

May 7, Robert Searl, Townsend, Azubah Butter- 
field, Townsend. 

May 14, Samuel Brooks, Townsend, Sarah 
Phelps, Townsend. 

, Elijah Haughton, Ashby, Sarah 

Ballard, Townsend. 

October 22, Thomas Powers, Holies, N. H., Mrs. 
Jane Sloan, Townsend. 

1790. February 2, Jonathan Taylor, Heath, Nancy 

Phelps, Townsend. 
February 18, Josiah Whitney, Waltham, Mar\ 

Barrett, Ashby. 
February 25, Asa Whitney, Townsend, Mary 

Wallis, Townsend. 
March 2, David Petts, Townsend, Nabby Flagg. 

April 5, Moses Burge, Townsend, Betty Stacy, 

May 25, William Johnson, , Lucy Barrett. 

May 25, Richard Warner, Townsend, Hannah 

Wheeler, Pepperell. 

June 30, John E. Stone, Ashby, Dorcas Lawrence, 

October 21, .James Searl, Townsend, Sallv Patten. 

Raby, N. H. 
November 25, Jabez Green, Townsend, Abigail 

Hildreth, Townsend. 
November 27, Samuel Buttrick, Weston, Hannah 

Bemis, Weston. 
December 23, William Stevens, Townsend, Rachel 

Ball, Townsend. 
, Abel Green, Raby, N. H., Hannah 

Farrar, Townsend. 


1791. February 2, Rev. Ebenezer Hill, Mason, N. H., 

Polly Boynton, . 

February 3, Benjamin Hobart, Townsend, Bett\' 
Woods, Townsend. 

February 17, Nathaniel Bailey, Jr., Townsend, 
Molly Baldwin, Townsend. 

March 3, Nathan Conant, Jr., Townsend, Mary 
Dix, Townsend. 

March 10, Perin Richards, Townsend, Anna 
Wallis, Townsend. 

March 16, Levi Green, Ashby, Patty Earl, Ashby. 

May 25, Joseph Walker, Ashby, Ruth Jenkins, 

June 13, Lemuel Petts, Jr., Townsend, Milly 
Wood, Pepperell. 

July 14, Asa Walker, Ashby, Alice Clark, Ashby. 

September 22, David Wallace, Townsend, Betty 
Richardson, Townsend. 

October 12, Abijah Monn, Townsend, Esther 
Giles, Townsend. 

November — , Hezekiah Winn, Chelmsford, Bath- 
sheba Ball, Townsend. 

1792. January 15, Oliver Lawrence, Ashby, Mercy 

Worcester, Ashby. 

January 15, Joseph Rumrill,Jr., Townsend, Re- 
bekah Lamson, Townsend. 

January 17, John Rice, Ashby, Rebekah Barrett, 

February 14, Samuel Jenkins, Townsend, Eliza- 
beth Sanders, Townsend. 

February 16, Parpoint Kendall. Ashby, Sarah 
Damon, Ashby. 

Februar}' 23, John Conant, Newton, Rachel Giles, 

February 29, Archelaus Adams, Jr., Townsend, 
Elizabeth Manning, Townsend. 


1792. March 22, Reuben Stevens, Groton, Thankfull 

Rumrill, Townsend. 

April 25, Phinehas Holden, Townsend, Mary 
Craig, Townsend. 

June 12, Isaac Farrar, Townsend, Mrs. Mary 
Dix, Mason, N. H. 

June 28, Joseph Adams, Townsend, Mary Brooks, 

June 28, Benjamin Dix, Townsend, Polly Phelps. 

August 15, Parker Weatherbee, Townsend, Rhoda 

Adams, Groton. 
August 30, Jonathan Roll, Ashby, Phebe Derby. 

September 11, Samuel Hodgman, Raby, N. H., 

Phene Lawrence, Townsend. 

October 10, David Lawrence, Townsend, Kezia 
Williams, Raby, N. H. 

November 29, Peter Nutting, Mason, Polly Bald- 
win, Townsend. 

1793. February 12, Lieut. John Sharin, Townsend. 

Eunice Farwell, Townsend. 

February 22, Samuel Adams, Townsend, Katy 

Lawrence, Townsend. 
February 22, Josiah Spaulding, Norridgewock, 

Me., Sybil Spaulding, Townsend. 

February 28, Joseph Jepson, Townsend, Jane 
Graham, Townsend. 

March 27, Elisha Jones, Ashby, Persia Taylor, 

April 2, John Mason, Townsend, Phene Shipley, 

May 2, Azariah P. Sherwin. Townsend, Sally 

Kidder, Townsend. 
May 9, Oliver Wetherbee, Townsend, Sarah 

Stone, Townsend. 
May 20, William Manning, Townsend, Hannah 

White, Townsend. 


1793. May 30, Ebenezer Hodgman, Ashby, Lovisa 

Newton, Ashby. 

June 27, John L. Hodgman, Townsend, Esther 
Baldwin, Townsend. 

September 5, Isaac Giles, Townsend, Jane Wallis. 

September 19, Jonathan Shattuck. 3d, Pepperell, 
Elizabeth Giles, Townsend. 

October 3, Jonathan Wallis, Jr., Townsend, 
Abigail Wyman, Townsend. 

October 31, John Conant, Jr., Townsend, Rebekah 
Wallis, Townsend. 

1794. Januar}' i, Phinehas Bennett. Ashbv, Mrs. Eliza- 

beth Buttrick, Ashby. 

January 28, Oliver Wellington, Ashby, Rachel 
March, Ashby. 

January 28, Josiah Gregory, Ashb}', Hannah 
Damon, Ashby. 

January 30, John Colburn, Townsend, Kezia 
Campbell, Raby, N. H. 

February 4, Eliab Going, Lunenburg, Abigail 
Warren, Townsend. 

February 6, Benjamin Abbot. Lansingburg, N. Y.. 
Katy Prat, Townsend. 

February 6, Bazaleel Newton, Jr., Ashbv, Pattv 
Walker, Ashby. 

February 6, Isaac Walker, Ashby. Rebecca 
Wallis, Ashby. 

July 2, Peter Lawrence, Ashby, Mary S. Spauld- 
ing, Townsend. 

August 28, Amos Whitne}' Dix, Townsend. Sallv 
Proctor, Townsend. 

October 30, Jonathan Sanderson. Lunenburg. 
Mahitebel Spaftbrd, Townsend. 

December 4, John Heald, Jr., Shirley, Moll\- 
Gaschet, Townsend. 

December 9, Lawrence Jelts, Mason, N. H., 
Lvdia Bovnton, Townsend. 


1795. February 17, Solomon Jewett, Pepperell, Phebe 

Adams, Townsend. 

April 23, Silas Shattuck, Townsend, Sally Bailev, 

May 28, Benjamin Hodgman, Jr., Ashby, Polly 
Stevens, Townsend. 

June 30, Peter Adams, Townsend, Lucy Gibson, 

August 6, Solomon Stevens, Jr., Townsend, 
Elizabeth Sanders, Townsend. 

August 6, William Parks, Townsend, Polly Stone, 

November 19, Reuben Davis, Ashby, Joanna 
Hildreth, Townsend. 

November 24, Boaz Brown, Townsend, Hannah 
Spaulding, Townsend. 

December 3, Jonathan Peny, Townsend, Phene 
Hodgman, Townsend. 

December 10, Samuel Fales, Townsend, Polly 
McLain, Townsend. 

1796. February 18, Edward Knight, Worcester, Sarah 

Jenkins, Townsend. 

March 9, John Petts, Townsend, Nancy Brooks, 

April 19, Bartholemew Ballard, Townsend, Rusha 
Lawrence, Ashby. 

April 23, William Sanders, Townsend, Patty 
Stevens, Townsend. 

May 22, David Lock, Jr., Ashby, Rebekah 
Wesson, Townsend. 

May 25, Noah Ball, Townsend, Betsey Wesson, 

September 21, Asa Walker, Jr., Ashby, Joanna 
Wesson, Townsend. 

October 27, David Leviston, Townsend, Sarah 
Adams, Ashby. 

November 10, Abner Adams, Townsend, Sarah 
Sartell, Townsend. 


4(m; history of townsend. 

1796. November 22, Stephen R. Ballard, Plymouth, 

N. H., Betsey Pollard, Ashby. 

December 15, James Adams, Townsend, Sybil 
Gaschett, Townsend. 

December 22, Lieut. Nathan Conant, Townsend, 
Mrs. Hannah Potter, Townsend. 

December 29, Elias Boutell, Townsend, Abigail 
Baldwin, Pepperell. 

1797. January 5, Uzziel Withee, Groton, Elizabeth 

Stevens, Townsend. 

January 10, Samuel Bailey, Townsend, Betsev 
Keyes, Townsend. 

January 26, Elijah Wright, Ashbv, Levina 
Lawrence, Ashby. 

February 23, Lemuel Shipley, Townsend, Phebe 
Jones, Ashby. 

May 31, Abel Gilson, Miltbrd, N. H., Sally Mace, 

June 6, Abel Taylor, Ashby, Abigail Rice, 

August I, Benjamin Spaulding, Jr., Townsend, 
Sybil Sanders, Townsend. 

This closes the record' of marriages by Rev. Samuel 
Dix, who died the twelfth of the following November. 

Marriage performed b}- Rev. John Bullard : — 

1797. December 20, Zacheus Richardson. Townsend, 
Mary Ball, Townsend. 

Marriages performed by Daniel Adams, Esq. : — 

1797. November 7, Salome Sherwin, Townsend. Beula 

Seaver, Townsend. 

1798. January 2, Jonathan Spaulding. Townsend, 

Hannah Going, Lunenburg. 


1798. February 20, David Batchelor, Townsend, Sarah 

Adams, Townsend. 
November 13, John Adams, Townsend, Jane 
Bartlett, Townsend. 

1799. September 18, Benjamin Wallace, Townsend, Re- 

bekah Whitney, Townsend. 

November 24, James Simons, Townsend, Susanna 
Stevens, Townsend. 

November 28, James Wallace, Townsend, Betsey 
Brown, Townsend. 

"The church's book ot" Records," commencing 1800, 
contains the following marriages, performed by Rev. 
David Palmer, and recorded by him. Where no place of 
residence of either party is recorded, the presumption is 
that they belonged to Townsend. An exact cop}- of Mr. 
Palmer's records is here presented : — 

1800. February 18, Aaron Fessenden, Nancy Wetherbee. 

February 19, Hezekiah Richardson, Jr., Anna 
Farwell, Mason. 

April 9, Solomon Sanders, Jr., Lydia Sanders. 

April 24, Levi Sherwin, Hannah Hildreth. 

April 27, Uriah Searl, Nabby Giles. 

June 26, Levi Morse, Sarah Davis. 

August 17, Daniel Adams, Leominster, Nancv 

September 16, Darius Sherwin, Lucy Kimball. 

October 5, Joseph Russell. Carlisle, Susanna 

November 7, Levi Conant, Eunice Sanders. Lun- 

1801. February 4, Levi Richardson, Eunice Weston. 

February 22, John Fessenden, Betsey Fessenden. 

March 3, Samuel Miller, Sylvia Keep. 


1801. March 15, John Williams, Brookline, Lucy Foster. 
June 7, Jonathan Wallis, Milley Conant. 
August 9, Michael Bonditt, Reading, Polly Dix. 
October 8, James Clark, Packersfield, Betsey Dix. 
October 11, Samuel Keep, Sarah Conant. 
December 3, Peter Putnam, Susanna Keep. 

1802. February 14, Asa Wallis, Milley Conant. 

March 11, Benjamin Fessenden, Levina Stevens. 

March 22, Benjamin Smith, Woburn, Sibyl Tur- 
ner, Townsend. 

April II, Isaac Wallis, Susanna Streeter. 

May 27, Jonathan Hartwell, Jr., Esther Warren. 

July 25, Abner Bills, Hannah Campbell. 

October 14, Abel Spaulding, Luc}^ Perham Pierce. 

November 11, Abiel Baldwin, Lucy Gasset. 

November 15, Stephen Lovejoy, Sally Flint. 

November 25, George Wilson, New Ipswich, 
Sally Wallis. 

November 29, John King, Polly Nutting. 

1803. January 18, Jacob Sawyer, Anna Foster. 

February 21, Luther Spalding, Boston, Betsev 

March 8, Peter Shumway, Oxford, Sarah Spald- 

April 28, Silas Kerly, Fitchburg, Mary Holt. 

May 19, Jonas Farmer, Jr., Hannah Wright. 

June — , Kendall Gowing, Lunenburg, Polh" 

October 9, Putnam Ha3'wood, Melinda Warren. 

October 16, Thomas Warren, Betsey Conant. 

November 15, Isaac Bailey, JaftVey, N. H. 
Susan Stevens. 


1803. December 13, Francis Butterfield, Jane Sanders. 

December 29, Moses Spaulding, Pepperell, Sally 

1804. April 4, Solomon Griswold, Eliza Wallis. 

May 27, Simeon Smith, Boston, Elizabeth Kidder. 
September 2, Robei-t P. Wood, Hannah Brown. 
October 4, Abel Adams, Hannah Heald. 
November 4, Richard W. Pierce, Sarah Farrar. 

1805. February 14, Daniel Warner, Ruth Emery. 

February 21, Isaac Spaulding, Lucy Emery. 

March 5, John demons, Hannah Pierce. 

March 7, Joseph Shattuck, Pepperell, Betsey 

March 7, Jonathan Holt, Susanna Jenkins. 

May 27, Silvanus Howe, Charlestown, Sally Stone. 

November 4, Abner Austin, Betsey Jewett. 

December 25, Abel Keyes, Sarah Bowers. 

1806. January 27, John Pike, Hannah Fessenden. 

April 17, Samuel Scales, Lucy Hildreth. 

May 28, Samuel Prentice, Grafton, Sally Searle 

November 2, Samuel Warner, Hannah Wallis. 

1807. January 26, William Davis, Baltimore, Vt., Phebe 


February 26, Jonathan Kimball, Waterford, 
Elizabeth Bowers. 

March 2, William Nay, 3d, Peterborough, Rebekah 

April 2, John Green, Jr., Pepperell, Fannev 

September 17, James Swan, Bradford, N. H., 
Olive Conant. 

October i, James Wilder, Hingham, Abigail 


1807. October 15, Asa Kendall, Leominster, Lydia 


October 29, Daniel Tarbox, Rachel Stevens. 

November 19, Samuel Russell, Mason, N. H., 
Martha Carter. 

November 26, Hezekiah Douglas, Watertown. 
Elizabeth Davis. 

1808. February 16, Edmund Bachelder, Baltimore, Vt.. 

Rachel Bartlett. 

March 10, John Proctor, Polly Hartwell. 

March 13, Imla Keep, Susanna Sylvester. 

April II, Whitney Farmer, Nancy Scales. 

April 19, John Bernard, Rachel Warren. 

May 25, David Hazen, Groton, Jane Turner. 

May 29, Ebenezer Fletcher, New Ipswich, Sybil 

September 12, Isaac Sanders, Hannah Sanders. 

September 15, Jeremiah Ball, Elizabeth Haynes. 

November 6, James Adams, Nancy Pratt. 

1809. November 30, David Emerson, Reading, Selina 


December 21, Abraham Seaver, Lucv Lawrence. 
December 21, Oliver Reed, Lettv Wilson. 
December 26, Isaac Turner, Esther Spaulding. 

1810. Januarv 9, James Emer^•, Grafton, Vt., Elizabeth 


January 18, George Flint, Molly Sanders. 

January 18, Jonathan Pierce, Lydia Conant, 

March 29, Stephen Scales, Patty Hildreth. 

June 14, James Jaquith, Wilmington, Sarah 

July 15, Nathan Farrar, Betsey Bartlett. 

September 2, Joel White, Hannah Davis. 

October 21, Zacheriah Hildreth, Hannah Sawtell. 


iSii. January 14, Austin, Mason, Rebekah 


February — , Joel Prentice, Lucy Scales. 

February — , David Putnam, Boston, Orpha 

April 15, Solomon Fessenden, Hannah Flagg. 

July — , Benjamin Brooks, Betsey Wallis. 

September 5, Asa Wyman, Sally Searl. 

November 21, Isaac Kidder, Luc}' Pratt. 

November 21, Luther Gilbert, Acton, Esther 

December 17. John Emery, Jr., Patty Stone. 

181 2. January — , John Flint, Betsey Sanders. 

May 7, James Sanders, Jr., Mary Sanders. 

July 28, Benj. Reed, Boston, Nancy Kidder. 

August 27, John Campbell, Dolly Baldwin. 

September, 17, James French, Jr., Wilton, N. H.. 
PoUey Whitney. 

October i, Abel Hosley, Hannah Warner. 

November 26, Jacob Sanders, Jr., Salina Gassett. 

1813. April 22, Jeptha Wright, Brookline, Policy Hosley. 

May II, Joel Con ant, Boston, Charlotte Warren. 

May II, Samuel Searl, Jr., Betsey Tarbell. 

September 30, Daniel Giles, Betsey Stone. 

September 30, Samuel Whitney, Policy Wallace. 

November 25, Jacob Cowdrev, Ashbv, Hannah 

1814. January 19, Rogers Weston, Mason, Polly Winn. 
February 9, Thaddeus Morse, Polly White. 
March i, Walter Hastings, Esq., Roxanna War- 

April 22, John Sanders, Isabel Roberts, Ashby. 
May 25, Simon Bruce, Mary Lawrence. 
May 25, Ezra Lee, Amherst, Polly Sartell. 


1814. June I, Robert Campbell, Polly Dix. 

June 9, Phinehas Austin, Ruth Baldwin. 

June — , Solomon Green, Emily Potter. 

December i, John Scales, Nancy Emery. 

December 4, Simeon Green, Nancy Eaton, 

December 13, Doct. Josiah Richardson, Pepperell, 
Betsey Stone. 

December 22, Qiiince}^ Sylvester, Sally Wallis. 

1815. Januar}^ 22, George Green, Pepperell, Polly 


February 16, Levi iVdams, Leominster, Hannah 

March 2, Reuben Flagg, Hollis, Abigail Emerson. 

March 29, Josiah Saw^tell, 3d, Rebekah Man- 

April 18, John Warner, Lovia Conant. 

May 4, William Pratt, Sibyl Stone. 

June 29, Lewis Stiles, Betsey Hartwell. 

July 9, Frederick Reed, Peterborough, Hannah 
H. Lewis. 

December 7, Martin Bartlett, Elima Grayham. 

December 15, Phinehas P. Dix, Clarrissa Rand, 

1816. January i, John Kinsman, Fitchburg, Nancy 


January 11, Levi Piper, Baltimore, Vt., Mariam 

March II, Josiah D. Stiles, Leominster, Hannah 

March 12, David Lawrence, i\shby, Betsey 
Kendall, Ashby. 

March 12, Stephen Kendall, Ashby, Lydia C. 
Burr, Ashby. 

April II, Jabez Law^rence, Ashby, Elizabeth 
Piper, Ashby. 


1816. April 23, Daniel Shattuck, Concord, Sarah 

Edwards, Ashby. 

May 2, Isaac Preston, New Ipswich, Sarah 
Sawtell, 3d. 

May 6, Eleazer Rice, Rebekah Johnson. 

May 19, John Currier, Susan Foster, Ashby. 

May 26, Thomas Ingalls, Rindge, Polly Stone. 

June 4, Nathaniel Cummings, Anna Fletcher, 

June II, Cushing Wilder, Nancy Spaulding. 

October 24, William Wesson, Jr., Dolly Hodge- 

October 31, Ezekiel Wellington, Ashby, Susan 
Haskell, Ashby. 

November 7, Daniel Tuttle, Ashby, Rebecca 
Burr, Ashby. 

November 12, Stephen Marble, Ashburnham, 
Polly Flint, Ashby. 

December 5, Isaac Foster, Cinthia Barrett, Ashby. 

December 8, Jonas Webber, Mason, N. H., Sarah 

December 15, Samuel Merriam, Mason, N. H., 
Luc}' Davis. 

December 19, William Farr, Lucv Puffer, Ashby. 

December 28, Otis Moore, Harvard, Sukey 

December 31, Eben^'. Jewett, Jr., Hollis, N. H., 
Elizabeth Walker. 

1817. January 16, Charles Cutler, Prudence Holden, 


January 21, Thaddeus D. Prentice, Goshen, 
N. H., Cynthia Manning. 

March 6, Josiah Foster, Lucinda Hodgeman, 

March 16, Wyman Parker, Millbury, Achsah 



1817. March 20, Isaac Patch, Abigail Flint. 
March 23, Levi Warren, Lydia Wright. 
May 25, Josiah Spaulding, Fanny Hildreth. 

July 17, Oliver Wheeler, Boston, Mar}^ Whitne}', 


August 26, Francis S. Bacon, Ashb3^ Melinda 
Kendall, Ashby. 

October 5, Samuel Wheeler, Stoneham, Betsey 

October 21, Stephen H. Fletcher, Wilton, N. H., 
Sally Foster. 

December 2, Josiah Wilder, Ashby, Susan "Flint, 

December 16, Samuel Brooks, Sally Campbell. 

December 25, Marshall Atherton, Shirley, Sa- 
phronia Shattuck. 

1818. January 28, Abner Bills, Betsey Cummings. 

March 29, John Davis, Olive Wadsworth. 

April 16, Samuel Manning, Margaret Craige. 

April 23, Samuel Haynes, Sibyl Stone. 

May 7, Bemsley Lord, Rebecca Conant. 

May 19, Thomas Ingalls, Rindge, N. H., Betsey 

May 27, Jonathan Henry, Lunenburg, Mar\- 

June 25, Abner Proctor, Betsey Davis. 

June 25, William Turner, Ludlow, Vt., Sally 

August 19, Joshua Richardson, Polly Richardson. 
September 17, Elnathan Davis, Poll}' Adams. 
October 10, Buckley Hodgeman, Betsey Pratt. 
November 12, John Adams, Groton, Sally Searle. 
November 26, Aaron Upton, Reading, Abigail 

Damon, Ashby. 
December 3, John W. Bancroft, Betsey Adams. 


1819. Januar}^ 13, Elijah Childs, Upton, Elizabeth 


February 3, Bolter Colson, Sharon, N. H., Polly 

April 27, Abijah Severance, N. Ipswich, N. H., 
Hannah Searle. 

May 13, Stephen Austin, Sally Spaulding. 

May 20, Robert Jefts, Sally Green. 

June 3, Jacob Blake, Savoy, Martha Edwards. 

June 27, Joel Emer3% Mary Sylvester. * 

October 28, Benjamin Blaney, Hepzibah Davis, 

November 11, Hawly Hale, Flint, Ashby. 

November 30, Jonathan Hubbard, Abigail Taylor. 

December 2, Paul Ha3'ward, Ashby, Betsev 
Taylor, Ashby. 

December 14, Ebenezer Barrett, Mary Fuller. 

December 19, Joseph Simonds, Brookline, N. H., 
Betsey Tarbell. 

1820. Januarv 9, Sam'. Richardson, Dublin, N. H., 

Polly Kidder. 

January 18, Edward Smith, Lunenburg, Mehitabel 
Richardson, Ashby. 

January 26, James Wilder, Sterling, Arethusa 

March 16, Walker Gassett, Pepperell, Betsey 

March 23, John Withington, Mason, N. H., 
Hannah Spaulding. 

March 30, Samuel Jenkins, Jr., Harriett L. 

x\pril 9, Peter Stevens, Hannah R. Shipley. 

April 23, Joseph Proctor, Mitty Bartlett. 

May 9, John Hodgeman, Sarah Wesson. 

October i, Samuel Graham, Jr., Ascenath Adams. 



1820. October 12, Joseph Estabrook, New Ipswich, 

Abigail Lawrence, Ashby. 

November 23, Levi Kendall, Lucv Kendall, 

November 23, Eri Lewis, Mason, N. H., Roxey 

December 28, David Wood, 3d, Lunenburg, Polly 

1821. January 23, Peter S. Sloan, Nancy Hill. 

February 6, Oliver Laughton, Shirley, Rachel 

February 15, James Lancey, Brookline, N. H., 
Azubah Shattuck. 

March 20, John Howard, Ashby, Eliza Spaulding. 

March 29, Daniel Warner, Betsey Hosley, 

April 19, Joseph Adams, Martha Buttertield. 

May 31, Sylvester Hildreth, Westford, Marv 

July 26, Jonathan Pierce, Molly Bacheler, Shirley. 

August 28, Jonathan Divol, Tamson Farrow. 

September 21, William Going, Charlestown, 

Nancy Flagg. 
September 21, Isaac Beard, Betsey Spaulding. 

October 15, George Hartwell, Mason, N. H., 
Sally Whitney. 

October 24, Joseph H. Hildreth, Louisa Conant. 

November 8, Cephas Manning, Huldah Green. 

December 6, Joel Searle, Sally Gleason, Shirley. 

December 6, Warren Foster, Sally Searle. 

December 16, Nathan Powers, Rhoda C. Butter- 
field, Pepperell. 

December 20, Joseph Simonds, Bethiah Spauld- 

December 27, Asa Sanders, Patty Bailey. 


1822. February 7, Doct. Nehemiah Cutter, Pepperell, 

Mary Parker, Pepperell. 

March 19, Clough R. Miles, Abbv Willard, Shir- 

March 26, Phinehas Page, Rindge, N. H., Mary 

April II, Leonard Whitney, Sibyl Newell, Pep- 

April 14, Eben*'. Stone, Eluthea Hayward. 

May 2, Benj". Spaulding, Jr., Betsey Searle. 

May 28, Walter Carleton, Lunenburg, Lucinda 

May 30, Marshall Lewis, Sail}' Adams. 

August 20, Luther Adams, Sally Rand. 

August 22, Asa Hodgeman, Sally Jenkins. 

August 29, Doct. Ptolemy Edson, Chester, Vt., 
Susanna Pratt. 

October 23, James Kidder, Eunice L. Williams. 

1823. March 18, Capt. Josiah Sawtell, Rindge. N. H.. 

Sibyl Stone. 

April 17, Abel Keyes, Rebekah Weston. 
April 17, Levi Blood, Pepperell, Hannah Sawtell. 
May I, George Rockwood, Annah B. Stickney. 
May 4, Ralph Warren, Betsey Sherwin. 
May 27, William Manning, Jr., Mary Craige. 
May 27, Wallis Little, Martha Hammond, Shirley. 
June 15, Daniel Bolles, Clarissa Warren. 
July 6, Samuel Howard, Harriett Ha3^wood. 

1824. January 29, Jotham Bartlett, Sarah Wilder. 
March 15, William Mead, Martha Gilson. 
March 23, Bolter Colston, Sabria Shattuck. 
March 23, Asa Graham, Mitty Adams. 
March 31, Joel Manning, Nancy P. Verder. 
April 15, Levi Flagg, Jr., Lunenburg, Olive East- 


1824. April 22, Peter Manning, Sally Stone. 

April 22, Ephraim Hodgeman, Mason, Sibyl San- 
April 29, Capt. William Park, Lydia Trull. 
May 9, Amos Eaton, Ashby, Abigail Sherwin. 

May 27, Jonathan Warren, Mason, Rebekah 

June 10, William Zwiers, Louisa Zwiers, Lan- 

June 30, Chas. H. Peabody, Pepperell, Grace S. 
Ide, Newfane, Vt. 

October 5, Ezra Emery, Sally Warner. 

October 7, Benjamin Spaulding, 3d, Eliza Evans. 

October 14, George Shed, Pepperell, Abigail 

November 10, Benj. Dix, Jr., Mehitable Smith. 

December 14, Charles Gilchrist, Lunenburg, 
Isabel Craige. 

1825. January 12, Zela Bartlett, Abigail Boutelle. 

February 23, Jonathan W3'the, Jr., Betsey Holt. 

April 20, Wm. D. Kidder, Chelmsford, Caroline 

June 12, Jonathan P. Bailey, Mary Clark. 

July 3, Emerson Hardy, Concord, Louisa Barrett. 

October 27, Luke Holt, Dracut, Lucia Palmer. 

November 12, Thos. Bailey, Cambridge, Eliza 
Boutelle, Boston. 

November 24, Nathaniel Whiting, Lunenburg, 
Mary Adams. 

December 11, Isaac Manning, Rosellana With- 
erell, Brookline. 

1826. January 26, David Lane, Jr., Bedford, Betsey B. 


February 21, Ezra Baker, Marlboro, N. H., 
Caroline Adams. 

March 28, John McRoberts, Ashby, Mary 


)26. May 31, Capt, Sam^ Scripture, Nelson, N. H., 
Rebekah Conant. 

June I, Stephen Burnham, Wilton, N. H., Mary 
Rock wood. 

June 15, Zimri Sherwin, Susan Sawtell. 

August 3, Daniel Prentice, Sibyl Smith. 

September 3, Colburn Green, Brookline, N. H., 
Sarah Colson. 

October 3, Samuel Bailey, Mary Hart. 

October 5, Levi Stearns, Direxa Jewett. 

October 26, Phillip Farnsworth, Brookline, N. H.. 
Abigail Dix. 

November 2, Benjamin Adams, Abigail Going. 

December 21, John Whitcomb, Abigail Richard- 

527. January 4, Edward G. Darby, Laura Sherwin. 

February 22, Edward G. Adams, Lunenburg, 
Patty S. Spaulding. 

February 22, Aaron Swett, Salisbury, Lydia But- 

February 25, Nathan Whitney, Bolton, Eliza 

March 8, Daniel Dix, Jr., Eunice Gilson. 

April 8, Elisha D. Barber, Sherburne, Sarah Dix. 

May I, Doct. Right Cummings, Lancaster, Mary 

May 29, Lancy, Brookline, N. H., 

Going, Lunenburg. 

May 31, Daniel Giles, Hannah Hart. 

June 14, Chas. Johnson, Southborough, Elvira 

August 9, John Snow, Charlestown, Hannah 
Marshall, Lunenburg. 

October — , Royal Russell, Bedford, Roxey B. 

November — , Samuel J. Cook, Lunenburg, Syl- 
via Spaulding. 


1827. December 16, Seth Stevens, Keziah Davis. 

December 18, Calvin B. Hartwell, Shirley, Susan 
Hammond, Shirley. 

December 30, Capt. Eben''. Rawson, Boston, Leah 

1828. February 27, Levi Simonds, Fitchburg, Lydia 

Putnam, Fitchburg. 

April I, Joseph Warner, Rebekah Page, Shirley. 

April 3, Jesse Sanderson, Charlestown, Manila 

April 10, Jonathan Spaulding, Mary Warner. 

April 15, Joel Spaulding, Jr., Mary P. Cook, 

April 23, Benjamin Wallis, Susan Spaulding. 

April 24, Capt. Jeptha Cumings, Dunstable, 
Asenath Warren. 

May 7, John Whitcomb, Leominster, Betsey 

May II, John Hildreth, Sarah Jepson. 

May 28, Benjamin Smith, Ruth Blood. 

June 26, Solomon Jewett, Jr., Melinda Ball. 

September 16, Richard Warner, Olive Swan. 

October 5, John Pierce, Charlestown, Jane Sander- 
son, Lunenburg. 

October 9, Asher Peabody, Mason, N. H., Susan 
A. Amsden. 

October 9, Benj. F. Jewett, Pepperell, Martha 

October 27, John Preston, Elizabeth S. French. 

December 25, Asa Messer, Lunenburg, Hannah 

1829. April 15, Parker D. Lane, Lowell, /Abigail E. 

Hodgman, Lowell. 

April 23, Thos. E. Daniels, Worcester, Lucy 
Sherwin, Fitchburg. 

May 28, Eli Baldwin, Polly Spaulding. 


1829. June 2, Jonathan Wythe, Emma Kemp. 
July 21, Horace Fessenden, Betsey Searle. 
July 26, Daniel Shattuck, Lucinda Wetherby. 
December lo, Aaron Manning, Lois Fessenden. 
December 29, William Johnson, Abigail Flagg. 

1830. January 28, Samuel Joslyn, Nancy Stone. 

March 2, Levi Simonds, Fitchburg, Eliza Putnam. 

March 4, Asa Mars, Brookline, Sally Foster. 

April 8, John E. Lake, Rindge, N. H., Mary 
Ann Sawtell. 

April 13, Joseph Whitney, Bolton, Eliza Sanders. 

April 29, M. T. Jones, Lunenburg, Ann F. Snow, 

May 13, Calvin Boutelle, Thirza Pierce. 

May 20, Edwin Smith, GofFstown, N. H., Sibvl 

May 30, William Spaulding, Pepperell, Mary 

June 3, John Spaulding, Eliza Spaulding, Shirley. 

July II, Benjamin Hodgeman, Jr., Mar}' Gilson. 

September 16, Noah Ball, Jr., Huldah Tenney. 

September 26, Andrew Shattuck, Lunenburg, 
Rebekah Green. 

October 14, Luther Boutelle, Groton, Hannah 

October 14, Silas Withington, Sarah Nutting. 

November 4, Samuel Warner, Sally Lewis. 

Marriage performed by Rev. William M. Rogers : — 
1 83 1. October 2, Abram S. French, Lois P. Richardson. 


Marriages of Townsend people found in the records 
of the town of Groton : — 

1731-2. January 5, Shadrack Whitney, North Town, 
Prudence Lawrence. 

1732. April 4, James Hosley, North Town, Eunice 

April 25, John Albee, North Town, Abigail 
Searle, North Town. 
1742. December 9, William Richardson, Townsend, 
Mary Hobart. 

1747. April 2, William Wallis, Townsend, Eunice 

1752. January 22, Benj. Brooks, Jr., Townsend, Eliza- 

beth Green. 

1753. December 17, James Lock, Jr., Townsend, Han- 

nah Farnsworth. 

1755. April 16, John Stevens, Townsend, .Susanna 
May 29, Jonas Sawtelle, Elizabeth Albee, Town- 

1759. January 2, Jonas Baldwin, Townsend, Ruth 

January 10, Solomon Stevens, Townsend, Hannah 

1760. March 19, Jonathan Spaulding, Townsend, 

Elizabeth Sawtell. 

1763. December 8, James Giles, Townsend, Elizabeth 

1765. May 15, Josiah Stevens, Townsend, Mary 


1 77 1. June 4, Reuben Tucker, Townsend, Relief 

Marriages of Townsend people, performed at Mason, 
New Hampshire, by Rev. Ebenezer Hill. Where the 


name of the town is not given the presumption is that the 
person belonged to Mason : — 

1791. March 17, Jonas Baldwin, Jr., Townsend, Pru- 
dence Haven. 

1796. June 24, Edward Taylor, Townsend, Sally 

October 27, Stephen Withington, Polly Austin, 

1798. February 17, Pearly Sanders, Townsend, Sarah 

Todd, Townsend. 

1799. February 12, Jonathan Blood, Townsend, Rachel 

Squire, Townsend. 

1800. July I, Aaron Warren, Townsend, Sally 


1801. November 10, John Withington, Sail}' Spaulding, 


1809. December 21, Samuel Stone, Jr., Townsend, 

Lucy Wheeler. 

1810. December 13, Jesse Seaver, Townsend, Betsey 


1818. April 19, Pearly Sanders, Townsend, Hannah 

1820. December 26, Caleb Bucknam, Townsend, Louisa 

Brooks Snow. 

182 1. November 18, Jonas Brown, Townsend, Phebe 


1822. November 28, John Jenkins, Townsend, Loisa 


1823. December 21, Joseph Merriam, 2d, Nancy Davis, 


1825. January 13, Jesse Sanders, Townsend, Mary Ann 

1827. July 5, Daniel Bills, Townsend, Lucretia Tucker, 


1828. May 9, Josiah Sawtell, Townsend, Rebecca 



1829. October 29, Ebenezer Hodgeman, Townsend, 
Mary Ann Blood. 

1832. April 10, Stow A. Verder, Townsend, Eliza D. 


1833. March 12, Amos Herrick, Mrs. Mary Barrett. 


May 14, Jonas Farmer, Tow^nsend, Gratia Grant. 

December 19, Eliab Going, Jr., Townsend, 
Hannah Warren. 

1835. December 10, Capt. Eliab Going, Townsend, Mrs. 
Dorcas Humphries. 

Marriage performed by Rev. Joseph B. Hill, of 
Mason : — 

1843. April 26, Abel F. Adams, Townsend, Lydia M. 

The following catalogue of marriages was received 
and recorded by Daniel Adams, town clerk of Townsend, 
agreeably to the act of 1857, chapter 84, section 4 : — 

Marriages performed by Rev. Daniel Chaplin : — 

1798. Andrew Dodge, Groton, Sally Bowers, Townsend. 
1798. James Giles, Jr., Townsend, Nabby Fitch, Groton. 

Marriage performed by Rev. N. Webb : — 

1 77 1. Ezra Holbrook, Townsend, Mehitabel Tyler, 

Marriages performed by Ebenezer Bridge : — 

1745. Noah Emery, Townsend, Mary Barrett, Townsend. 

1756. Daniel Taylor, Townsend, Lydia Burge, Town- 

1764. Benj. Spaulding, Townsend, Patty Barrett, Town- 


Marriage performed by James Prescott, Esq. : — 

1742. Joseph Herrick, Townsend, Lois Cutler, Townsend. 

Marriages performed by Rev. Willard Hall : — 

1753. Ebenezer Ball, Townsend, Rebecca Butterfield, 

1759. Eleazer Taylor, Townsend, Sarah Keves, West- 

1766. James Barrett, Townsend, Mary Fletcher, West- 

Marriages performed by Rev. Matthew Scribner : — 

1780. Isaac Green, Townsend, Abigail Chamberlain, 


1781. Josiah Burge, Jr., Townsend, Precilla Barnes, 


Marriage pertbrmed by Isaac Wright, Esq. : — 

1786. Abram Ball, Townsend, Deliverance Perham. 

Marriages performed by (name not given). 

1766. Hezekiah Richardson, Townsend, Elizabeth Howe, 

1769. John Waugh, Townsend, Mary White, Littleton. 

1757. Oliver Farnsworth, Townsend, Jemima Haywood, 

1769. Abram Clark, Townsend, Olive Taylor, Dunstable. 
Marriage performed by Rev. William Lawrence : — 

1769. Edward Farwell, Townsend, Rachel Allen, Lin- 

Marriage performed by Rev. Ebenezer Sparhawk : — 

1785. Bazaleel Spaulding, Townsend, Hannah Barrett, 


Marriages performed by Rev. David Stearns : — 

1750. Archabald White, Townsend, Margaret McClure, 

1760. Thomas Gary, Lunenburg, Elizabeth Farwell, 

1769. Amos Heald, Townsend, Betsey Davis, Lunen- 

Marriage performed by Thomas Prentice, Esq. : — 

1747. Gustavus Swan, Lunenburg, Isabella Wilson, 

Marriages performed by Rev. Zabdiel Adams : — 

1795. Aaron Keyes, Townsend, Sally Kimball. 

1789. Abel Keyes, Townsend, Sally Bailey, Lunenburg. 

1791. Jonathan Messer, Jr., Lunenburg, Betsey Brown, 

Marriage performed by Rev. Jonathan Townsend : — 

1766. William Parkman, Townsend, Lydia Adams, 

Marriages performed by Rev. Samuel Ruggles : — 

1740. September 30, Hezekiah Richardson, Townsend, 
Elizabeth Walker, Billerica. 

1739. James Stevens, Townsend, Mary Richardson, 

1745. Ebenezer Wyman, Townsend, Dorcas Willson, 

Marriage performed by John Chandler : — 

1760. Jacob Baldwin, Townsend, Elizabeth Lewis, 

Marriage performed by Ebenezer Crafts, Esq. : — 

1781. Jeshurum Walker, Townsend, Lydia Holbrook, 


Marriage performed by Francis Gardner : — 

1798. Samuel Jenkins, Townsend, Rebecca Tainter. 

Marriages performed by Rev. Joseph Emerson : — 

1753. George Campbell, Townsend, Mary Wheeler, 

John Wallis, Jr., Townsend, Mary White, Groton. 

1755. Joseph Butterfield, Townsend, Susanna Adams, 

Jonathan Wallis, Townsend, Mary Barstow, Hol- 
1758. James Hosley, Townsend, Sarah Shedd, Pepperell. 

1760. James Conick, Betsey Campbell, Townsend. 

1761. William Warren, Pepperell, Sarah Stevens, Town- 


Marriages performed by Rev. John Bullard : — 

1781. Eben Ball, Townsend, Sarah Shattuck, Pepperell. 

1786. Edmund Blood, Pepperell, Lucy Taylor, Town- 


1787. Uziah Wyman, Townsend, Lydia Nutting, Pep- 


1789. Robert Mention, Townsend, Sally White, Pep- 


1790. Thadeus Spaulding, Townsend, Olive Blood, 


1793. Aaron Scott, Townsend, Ruth Blood, Pepperell. 

1794. Jesse Spaulding, Townsend, Abby Blood, Pepper- 


1797. Adam Hill, Townsend, Rebecca Frost, Pepperell. 

1798. Jeremiah Ball, Townsend, Lucy Putnam. 
Francis Butterfield, Townsend, Martha Gilson, 

Joseph Wallis, Townsend, Hannah Conant, Town- 


1799. Samuel Sparhawk, Townsend, Polly Baldwin, 

1793. Micha Benipo, Townsend, Mary William, Pep- 
perell (colored). 

Marriage performed by Rev. Paul Litchfield : — 

1788. James Giles, Jr., Townsend, Lydia Russell, Car- 

Marriage performed by Asa Parley, Esq. : — 

1795. Samuel Grimes, Townsend, Elimah Hutchins, 

Marriage performed by Rev. Daniel : — 

1770. John Farwell, Harvard, Elimah Hutchins, Carlisle. 

Marriage performed by Nathaniel Russell, Esq. : — 

1760. Jonathan Putnam, Townsend, Hannah Worcester, 

Marriage performed by Rev. Samuel Kendall : — 

1790. Samuel Batherick, Townsend, Hannah Bemis, 

Marriages performed by Rev. Timothy Harrington : — 

1787. William Hobart, Townsend, Dolly Smith, Lan- 

1753. William Smith, Townsend, Martha Dunsmore, 



Eecorcl of the Descendants of Daniel Adams, who settled in Town- 
send, in 1742— The AVhitne}' Family as Benefactors and Business 
Men— Genealogy of some of tlie Townsend Whitneys. 

People by the name of Adams are nearly as numerous 
as those by the name of Brown, or Smith. Up to 1875, 
the number of graduates, at Harvard College, by the 
name of Smith, was one hundred and two, while there 
were ninety-six graduated b}- the name of Adams. 
Adamson was the original name, of which Adams is an 
abbreviation. The name was veiy common, in England, 
at the time of the settlement of the colonies. As many as 
four different lamilies by the name of Adams, claiming 
no relationship, setded in the province of Massachusetts. 

The name of Adams was quite common in early 
provincial times. At present there are several genealogists 
by that name, who are making great efforts to collect the 
facts in regard to their ancestors, with the view of an 
"Adams Memorial." The lineage of so many persons, 
must, from the nature of the case, remain a matter of much 
uncertainty in numerous instances. From the present 

^The abbreviations in this chapter are: b. for born; ni. for marrieil; d. for died. 


time, the various families will have their record well 
preserved, inasmuch as our people are just beginning to 
study genealogy. 

Joseph Adams, the progenitor of a part of those by 
the name of Adams who have made Townsend their place 
of residence, came from England, about 1685, and settled 
in Cambridge, in what is now Arlington. Little is known 
of his family, except that he was the father of one Daniel 
Adams. The Genealogical Register has the following : — 

"Capt. Daniel Adams lived in the south part of 
Lincoln, once in the limits of Concord, where he died, 
1780. Married Elizabeth Minot. 

Their children were : 

Daniel, b. 1720. 

Elizabeth, b. 1722. 

Joseph, b. 1724. 

Rebecca, b. 1727. 

James, b. 1732. 

Lydia, b. 1735. 

Martha, b. 1738. 

Mary, b. 1740. 

These individuals all lived to a good age, and had 
sixty-nine children, averaging eight and five-eighths 

This Daniel Adams, and one Ephraim Jones, both 
of Concord, cut a road from Townsend to the Ashuelot 
River, in 1737, and asked the General Court to pay them 
for their work, but they never received anything from the 
province, for their services. The old road to Ashby is 
known in the Townsend records as tiie "Ashuelot Road ;" 
and it is substantiallv over the same route that Adams and 


Jones cut their way through, to facilitate the communica- 
tion between the Middlesex county towns, near the coast, 
and Keene, which was granted by Massachusetts, and 
settled in 1735. 

Daniel Adams, ^ {Daniel^- yose^h,^) was born in 
Concord, in 1720, and moved to Townsend, in 1742. Of 
the place where he located, the reader may learn by turn- 
ing to the sketch of Seth Davis, in this work. Married, 
first, Keziah Brooks, of Concord, 1743; she died, 1754. 

Their children were : 

Elizabeth, b. July 31, 1745 ; d. 1745. 
Daniel, b. July 29, 1746. 
Abner, b. Oct. 22, 1748. 
Rebecca, b. July 6, 1750. 
Benjamin, b. Oct. 17, 1752. 
Ephraim, b. Aug. 14, 1754. 

Married, second, Mehitabel Crosby, 1756; she 
died, 1783. 

Their children were : 

Robert, b. Jan. 8, 1757 ; d. 1757. 
Phebe, b. Nov. 11, 1757; d. 1757. 
Keziah, b. Feb. 28, 1759; ^' 1782. 
Mehitabel, b. Feb. 23, 1761. 
Elizabeth, b. June 7, 1763 ; d. 1782. 
Mary, b. July 23, 1765. 
Joseph, b. July 7, 1767. 
James, b. May 27, 1769; d. 1769. 
Phebe, b. Dec. 18, 1771. 
James, b. April 15, 1773. 

He married, third, Sarah Phelps, of Lancaster, 
June 30, 1784, who survived him, and was well provided 
for by the will of her husband, who died in 1795, aged 


seventy-five years. There are twenty-eight lines of poetry 
on the large slate gravestone, erected at the east side of 
the old burying-ground, to perpetuate his memory. He 
was a man of much influence, — was town clerk for several 
years, served on the board of selectmen many times, and 
represented Townsend in the General Court. He was a 
man of industrious habits, and amid all the trials and 
cares of rearing the largest family ever in town, known to 
the writer, he accumulated a large property which he 
distributed by his will about equally among his children. 

Rebecca, his daughter, married, December 21, 1769, 
James Campbell, of (Raby) Brookline, where they lived 
and reared four children. He represented Mason and 
Raby in the Legislature of New Hampshire, while these 
towns were classed. 

Keziah married John Sherwin, in 1782. About 1800, 
he built what is now the Townsend almshouse, for a 
tavern, and kept tavern there several years. This was a 
public house a large pai't of the time till 1834, ^vhen the 
town bought it for $1,400. 

Elizabeth married Joshua Smith, of Raby. They 
had sons and daughters, and their descendants are now 
among the inhabitants of Brookline and Townsend. 

Mary married John Giles, who was a prominent man 
, and a deacon of the church in this town. Two of their 
sons graduated at Harvard College and are sketched in 
another part of this work. 

Phebe married Solomon Jewett, 1795. They reared 
a famil}-, and among them was Solomon Jewett, Jr., 
whose name appears with the Townsend traders, in 
another chapter. 


Daniel Adams* {Daniel,^ Daniel,- Josef h}) mar- 
ried Lydia Taylor, daughter of Capt. Daniel Taylor, 
May 21, 1772. 

Their children were : 

Daniel, b. Sept. 29, 1773. 
Joel, b. Jan. 19, 1779. 
Lydia, b. Oct. 15, 1784. 
Jonathan Stow, b. June 5, 1786. 

This was a remarkable family. They lived on the 
east side of Hathorn's meadow, in the house now occupied 
by two Bohemian families. The father was a deacon of 
the church, and a justice of the peace ; his son Daniel 
was a noted author; Joel was a deacon of the church, and 
a justice of the peace ; Lydia was a lady of intelligence 
and refinement (married Asa Kendall, of Lunenburg, 
October 15, 1807) ; and Jonathan Stow was a deacon of 
the church, in Groton, and a justice of the peace. They 
were all born in Townsend. Daniel Adams, the father of 
this family was a good townsman, and held most of the 
town offices. He fully appreciated the importance of 
education, and gave all his children good advantages in 
that direction. 

Abner Adams* {Daniel^' Daniel^- yosefh}) married, 
first, MoLEY Sawtell, May 20, 1784. She died, 1785. 

Their child was : 
James, b. June 15, 1785- 

Married, second, Sarah Sawtell, November 10, 
1796. Their children were : 

Luther, b. , 1797 ; m. Sarah Rand, Aug. 20, 



Mary, b. Sept. 30, 1802 ; m. Nathaniel Whiting, 

Nov. 24, 1825. 
Abner, b. Jan. 27, 1805 ; m. Ahnira Parker, 1833. 
Walter, b. Feb. i, 1806. 
Eli, b. Feb. 11, 1808. 
Lucy, b. , 181 1 ; m. Archelaus Adams. 

He was a farmer and lived on the premises now 
owned and occupied by Stillman Adams, and Sarah Jane, 
his sister. He was a man of good natural abilities — was 
a selectman and a representative to the General Court. 

Benjamin Adams^ {^Daniel ^^ Daniel^- Joseph,^) 
married, Mary Stone, of Townsend, July 16, 1779. 

Their children were : 

Benjamin, b. Sept. 17, 1780. 

Patty, b. Oct. 12, 1784; m. Jonathan Chapman. 

Polly, b. Oct. 12, 1786. 

Samuel, b. Sept. 12, 1789; m. Calista French. 

Betsey, b. March 7, 1792 ; m. Josiah French, Jr. 

Daniel, b. July 4, 1795 ; m. Catherine Hartwell. 

Joseph, b. Aug. 7, 1800; m. Marinda French, 1826. 

Soon after his marriage he moved to Cavendish, 
Vermont, where his children were born. 

Joseph Adams^ {Danicl^^ Daniel^- yoscph,^) married 
Mary Brooks, of Townsend, June 28, 1792. 

Their children were : 

Polly, b. Dec. 13, 1793 ; m. Capt. Elnathan Davis. 
Joseph, b. Sept. 27, 1795 ; m. Martha Buttertield. 
Betsey, b. Oct. 5, 1797 ; m. John Bancroft. 
Sally, b. Dec. 4, 1799; m. Marshall Lewis. 
Daniel, b. June 9, 1802 ; m. Mary Marshall. 
Benjamin, b. Sept. 3, 1804; m. Abigail Going. 
Noah, b. Aug. 4, 1806; m. Levina P. Cowden. 
Brooks, b. March 13, 1809; m. Hannah Spaulding. 


Capt. Joseph Adams lived on the farm where he was 
born, described on page 237 of this work. He was an ex- 
emplary man, leading a strictly puritanical life. Although 
he kept a large stock of cattle, and his sons were taught 
the habits of industry, he never allowed his stable to be 
cleaned out on the Sabbath. 

James Adams^ {Daniel^^ Daniel,- yoseph,^) married 
Sibyl Gassett, of Townsend, 1802. 

Their children were : 

Dolly, b. Dec. 29, 1803 ; m. Albert White, of Bedford. 
Sabra, b. Feb. 26, 1807 ; m. Franklin Converse. 
Submit, b. Jan. i, 1809; m. George Maxwell, of 

Rebeckah, b. July 6, 181 2 ; m. Charles Coburn, of 


Daniel Adams'"' {Daniel,^ Daniel ^^ Daniel,'- yoseph,^) 
married Nancy Mullekin, August 17, 1800. 

Their children were : 

Darwin, b. Oct. 10, 1801 ; m. Catherine Smith. 

Arabella, b. Sept. 9, 1803 ; died young. 

Nancy, b. July 7, 1810 ; died young. 

Daniel L., b. Nov. i, 1814 ; m. Cornelia A. Cook. 

Nancy Ann, b. Dec. 3, 1821 ; m. William S. Briggs. 

For a description of this Adams, see page 299 of this 

Joel Adams-' {Daniel,^ Daniel^-' DanieU- yosefh}) 
married Polly Stone, November 3, 1803. 

Their children were : 

Mary, b. July 21, 1804 ; m. John Bertram, M. D. 

Samuel, b. Nov. 18, 1805. 

He was a prominent man, held the town offices, was 
a deacon of the church, and a justice of the peace. 


Jonathan Stow Adams-' {Daniel,^ Daniel ^-^ Daniel ^^ 
Joseph,^) married Betsey Wood; no children. He 
was a trader and did business in Groton. He was a 
deacon of the church, a justice of the peace, and very 
decided in his opinions. 

Luther Adams' (Adner,* Daniel,^ Daniel,'- Joseph,^) 
married Sarah Rand, August 20, 1822. 

Their children were : 

Stillman, b. , 1823. 

Sarah Jane, b. June 17, 1826. 
Maria, b. July 28, 1829 ; died young. 

He represented Townsend, in the General Court, in 
1856. He was a farmer and fruit grower ; an industrious, 
honest man. 

James Adams'^' {Abner,^ Daniel^'' Daniel^- foseph,^) 
married Nancy Pratt, November 6, 1808. She died, 
1861. Their children were : 

Nancy P., b. Aug. 10, 1809: m. Levi Richardson, 

Elizabeth, b. Dec. i, 1813 ; died in youth. 

Lydia, b. Jan. 13, 1817 ; m. John Walker, 1837. 

Catherine S., b. Jan. 19, 1822; m. Joseph H. Chad- 
wick, 1843. 

James Edson, b. Nov. 27, 1824; unmarried; d. May 
8, 1871. 

Capt. James Adams was a farmer. He was a man 
of a pleasant disposition, a kind husband and father, and 
he was much respected. James Edson, his son, w^as a 
very active Boston merchant. He left a large amount of 


Abner Adams'^ {ASner,* Daniel,^ DanicU^ yoseph,^) 
married Almira Parker, of Antrim, N. H., 1833. 

Their children were : 

Lizzie M., b. July 18, 1836; m. Edward Caufy, 1874. 
George A., b. May 25, 1840; m. Martha A. Howe, 

Carrie, b. Feb. 18, 1855 ; m. Asa Williams, 1874. 

He was a farmer, and a man of good character and 

Joseph Adams"' {yoscph,^ Daniel ^^ Daniel,- yuseph,^) 
married, first, Martha Butterp^ield, 182 i. 

Their children were : 

Union, b. March 13, 1822. 
Elbridge G., b. May 16, 1824. 

Martha J., b. Jan. 14, 1827 ; m. Charles Joslin, 1846. 
Harriett B., b. Nov. 18, 1834; "i- Thurston Richard- 
son, 1854. Resides at Leominster. 

Married, second, Sarah Eastman, 1835. 

Their children were : 

Vinal, b. April 9, 1840; d. Jan. 25, 1841. 
Sarah L., b. April 2, 1842 ; died in infancy. 
Joseph Alden, b. Oct. 14, 1843. 

Joseph Adams is still alive. He has been postmaster 
at the central village — a hotel keeper and a trader — is now 
an old gentleman, retired from business. Joseph A., his 
son, married Adelaide Gilbert, 1868. No children. 

Benjamin Adams"' (yosepA,* Daniel,' Daniel ,'- 

yoseph}) married Abigail Going, November 2, 1826. 

They had one daughter. They moved to Troy, in the 

state of New York, where he engaged in hotel keeping, 

and where he died. 


Noah Adams'' {Joseph,^ Banicl^' Daniel,'^ Joseph,^) 
married Levina P. Cowden, November 22, 1834. 

Their children were : 

Alfred M., b. Oct. 2, 1835. 

Sarah M., b. May 11, 1838; died young. 

John Q^, b. Aug. 23, 1840. 

Merrick, b. Aug. 13, 1843 ; died young. 

Sarah J., b. Dec. 3, 1845. 

Ann L., b. Aug. 13, 1849; died in infancy. 

He was an active man, the senior partner of Adams 
& Powers, in the coopering, lumber and mill business. 
He died December 17, 1859. 

Daniel Adams-'' {yoseph,^ Daniel, ^Daniel r 'Jose-ph,'') 
married Mary Marshall, 1827. 

Their children were : 

Nancy L., b. Nov. 13, 1828; m. Rev. Charles 

Susan A., b. , 1832 ; d. 1832. 

Susan A., b. Oct. 29, 1833; m. Daniel Davis, 1870. 

Mary L., b. Sept. 30, 1837. 

Daniel. H., b. Aug. 3, 1844; died in infancy. 

Mr. Adams was a trader at Townsend Centre for 
many years, doing business in the brick store, built by 
Samuel Stone. He was town clerk quite a number of 
years. In the latter part of his life he was engaged in the 
coopering business, having sold out his store. He died 
January 9, 1873. 


Brooks Adams'' (^yoscfh,^ Daniel,'^ Daniel,- yoscph,^) 
married Hannah Spaulding, 1832. 

. Their children were : 

Elizabeth S., b. Oct. 22, 1833 ; m. Lorenzo Hildreth. 

Almira J., b, Sept. 6, 1836; m. Rev. William R. 

Hannah A., b. June 20, 1840 ; died young. 

Mary K., b. May 16, 1845 ; died young. 

Amanda F., b. Oct. 26, 1847 : m. Julian W. East- 

Sarah P., b. Nov. 27, 1849; ^^- Sumner N. Howard. 

He lived on the farm owned by his father and grand- 
father. He owned and occupied a mill, at one time, 
situated near the Brookline road. This farm, at his 
decease, went out of the possession of the Adams family, 
"no son of his succeeding." He died December 6, 1852. 

Samuel Adams'' ( 'Jocl^^ Daniel,^ Daniel^^ Danicl^- 
yoseph,^) married, first, Nancy Clement, 1831. 

Their child was : 
Catherine, b. June 2, 1835 ' "''• Walter Graham. 

Married, second, Eliza A. Bowers, 1838. 

Their children were : 

Mary, b. Aug. 17, 1839. 

Abby G., b. Jan. 17, 1841 ; m. Newton C. Boutell. 

Henry, b. Jan. 18, 1845 ; m. Catherine Tenney. 

Elizabeth, b. Jan. 29, 1848. 

Daniel, b. June 27, 1850; died in infancy. 

George C, b. March 4, 1853. 

Alice A., b. July 4, 1857. 

He lived on the old Adams homestead, where his 
father and grandfather lived, at the east side of Hathorn's 


meadow, where he died in 1858. He was a prominent, 
influential man, as a citizen and member of the orthodox 
church. Besides holding, at different times the several 
town offices, in 1858 he represented this senatorial district 
in the General Court. He probably exerted the greatest 
influence, of any Townsend man, in getting the railroad 
through this town. 

Alfred M. Adams" {NoakJ' yoseph,^ Daniel^' 
Daniel,'- Joseph,^) married Eliza A. Everett, Novem- 
ber 21, i860. 

Their child was : 
Union Sheridan, b. Oct. 31, 1864. 

He was born at Townsend Centre, in 1835. While at 
the district school he was always free from trouble, either 
with his teachers or school-fellows. What he lacked in 
brilliant scholarship, he made up in good deportment and 
politeness towards his parents and superiors. When he 
was about fifteen years of age, he was a student at New 
Ipswich Academy, where he remained nearh' three years, 
during which time he applied himself diligently to his 
studies. He then left that school, and went to Westfield 
Academy, where he continued about the same length of 
time. On leaving the academy he went to Boston, and 
was a clerk in a wholesale carpet store about two years. 

The firm of Adams & Powers was dissolved, by the 
death of Mr. Powers, in 1856. On the first day of January, 
1857, Mr. Noah Adams, the surviving partner,, and father 
of A. M. Adams, bought out the interest of the widow 
and Charles E. Powers, the only heir. Mr. Noah Adams, 
being out of health, and feeling the pressure of business, 


was very anxious to have his son return from the city and 
assist him ; and he made so liberal an offer to him that he 
complied with his father's wishes. In December, 1859, 
Mr. Noah Adams died. Soon after his death, Alfred M. 
Adams bought the interest of his mother, sister and 
brother, in the property, and has continued business, at 
that place, ever since. 

The short apprenticeship which he served with his 
father was of incalculable benefit to him, as he thereb\' 
formed the acquaintance of his father's customers, and 
learned the routine of the business. As a successful man- 
ufacturer, his record will not appear to disadvantage, 
when viewed in connection with the efforts of men of 
larger experience and equally favorable surroundings. 
Since he has been proprietor he has made some important 
improvements in the mills, and extended the business con- 
siderably. He employs a good many men, and is one of 
the heaviest tax payers in town. 

His life has exemplified the exception rather than the 
rule, in the descent of property from one generation to 
another. Generally, when a young man, not knowing 
how to earn a dollar with his hands, has a large property 
left to him, he loses it about as easily as he obtained it ; and 
then, perhaps he will make an effort to ascertain the value 
of money by earning some himself. This gentleman has 
kept all that he inherited, and added largely to that 
amount. Mr. Adams is a prominent member of the repub- 
lican party, and, as such, he represented the Thirty-Fifth 
Middlesex District in the General Court in 1877. Every- 
thing around his residence, shops, storehouses, and mills, 
shows a controlling influence, emanathig from a man of 
taste, prudence, and enterprise. 


Darwin Adams" {Daniel^' Daniel,'^ Daniel^'' Daniel.;' 
yoseph,^) married Catherine Smith, of Hollis, N. H., 
1828 ; she was the daughter of Rev. Eli Smith. 

Their children were : 

George D., b. i^pril 18, 1830; in. Ann E. Brown. 
Daniel E., b. June 22, 1832 ; m. Ellen F. Kingsbury. 
Mary E., b. April i, 1835. 
Catherine L., b. Nov. 12, 1836; died young. 
John L., b. Oct. 7, 1839. ^^^ officer during the re- 

He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, class of 
1824, and is a retired congregational minister, residing at 
Groton, and is well worthy of being the son of Daniel 
Adams, the author. 

Daniel Lucius Adams" {Daniel,'' Daniel,^ Daniel;^ 
Daniel;- Joseph,^) married Cornelia A. Cook, of New 
York, May 7, 1861. 

Their children were : 

Charles C, b. Aug. 24, 1864; d. Sept. 21, 1864. 
Catherine, b. May 3, 1866. 
Mary W., b. Oct. 15, 1868. 
Francis M., b. June 7, 187 1. 
Roger C, b. May i, 1874. 

He is a graduate of Yale College, 1835. ^^^ took 
the degree of M. D., at Harvard College, in 1838. He 
practiced medicine in the City of New York, about twenty 
years. He is at present located at Ridgeheld, Connecticut, 
where he continues in the medical profession. 


Union Adams^' {yoseph,^ 'Josc-ph,^ Daniel^' Daniel .;- 
Joseph}) married Charlotte Emerton, of New Hamp- 
shire, in 1865. 

Their children were : 

Union, b. Nov. 20, 1865. 
Grace, b. June 10, 1867. 

He is a merchant, residing in the City of New York ; 
an extensive dealer in woolens and hosier}-. 

Stillman Adams'"' {Luther}' Abner} Daniel}' Danielr 
yoseph}) married Sarah R. Tarbell, Januar}- i, 1869. 

Their children were : 

Francis L., b. July 13, 1872. 
Carrie M., b. July 25, 1876. 

He is engaged in business in the City of New York, 
in partnership with Alden Warner, son of Samuel Warner, 
of this town. He passes part of the time on the farm 
where he was born, which he and his sister, Sarah Jane, 
still own and occupy. 

George A. Adams" {Abner} Abner} Daniel} 
Daniel} Joseph}) married Martha L. Howe, daughter 
of Albert Howe, Esq., of West Townsend, 1861. 

Their children were : 

Kate L., b. Feb. 22, 1867. 
Albert A., b. Nov. 8, 1873. 

He moved from this town to Detroit, Michigan, where 
he has for some time been established as a sewing machine 


Joseph Adams'' {Bcnjaiiiiii,^ Daniel ^^ Danicl^- 
Josefh}^ married Merinda French, September 14, 
•1826. Their children were : 

MarvE., b. April 7, 1828; m. Hubbard L. Hart, 

Richard J., b. May 3, 1833; m. Emily F. Holland, 

Mary H., b. July 14, 1854. 

He is a farmer and resides at Cavendish, Vermont. 

George D. Adams' {Darivin^'' Daniel ^^ Daniel,^ 
Daniel ^-^ Daniel^- Josef h,^) married Ann E. Brown, 
1855. Their children were : 

John B., b. March 26, 1857. 
Mary E., b. Oct. 25, 1861. 

He is a thriving larmer, living in Oiiio, where his 
children were born. 

Samuel Adams'^ {Benjamin,^ Daniel ^^ Daniel ^^ 
yoseph,^) married Calista French, September 19, 1819. 

Their children were : 

Samuel L., b. June 16, 1820: m. Betsev M. Parker, 

July 2, 1848. 
Charles P., b. Aug. 22, 1822 ; d. Dec. 21, 1823. 
Marietta, b. June 18, 1824 ; m. Fred M. Weeks, Jan. 

3. 1855. 
Marcella, b. Aug. 4, 1827 : m. Ira H. Adams, April 

14, 1852. 
Josiah Q., b. May 2, 1830: m. Ellen E. Mayo, 

March 12, 1874. 
Jerusha J., b. Dec. 19, 1832 ; m. Moses Marston, 

Oct. 14, 1863. 
Ellen M., b. Nov. 24, 1835: m. Moses Marston, 

Sept. 12, 1859. 
Betsey M., b. Aug. 7, 1838; m. John W. Foster, 

Sept. 3, 1863. 


He lived in Cavendish, Vermont. Died September 9, 
1875. Calista (French) Adams, his wife, died February 
13, 1875. Their children were born at Cavendish, Ver- 
mont. He was a farmer. 

Benjamin Adams-' {Benj'amm^^ Daniel ^-^ Daniel^' 
'Josefh^) married Betsey Crowley. 

Their children were : 

Rosetta, b. Aug. 6, 1807 ; unmarried, lives at Akron, 

Lorinda, b. Nov. 27, 1809; m. Samuel Manning. 
Washington, b. June 13, 1812 ; m. Dena Anna Hager. 
Galusha, b. Ma}- 28, 1817 ; d. Oct. 10, 1832. 
Frank, b. July 5, 1819 ; lives at Akron, Ohio. 
Marcellus, b. Dec. i, 1821 ; d. at Akron, Ohio. 
Sarah J., b. Jan. 9, 1826; m. Loren W. Smith. 
Almira W., b. April 3, 1828. 

Their children were all born at Cavendish, Vermont. 
This Benjamin was a farmer. He and his family moved 
to Ohio, in 1840. Died at Akron, November 22, 1849. 

Daniel Adams"' {Benjamin,'^ Daniel ^^ Daniel ^- 
'Joscfh}) married, first, Catherine Hartwell, of 

Their children were : 

Ira H., b. Jan. 16, 1823. 

Abigail A., b. June 27, 1826; d. May 28, 1835. 

Alpheus A., b. Oct. 7, 1828. 

Susan M., b. Sept. 14, 1833 : d. Jan. 12, 1834. 

James J., b. Jan. 19, 1838; d. Sept. 28, 1839. 

Married, second, Lydia Caryl. No children by 

the second marriage. He lived in Chester, Vermont, 


where he died September 24, 1872. Catherine (Hartwell) 
Adams, his first wife, died February i, 1846. 

Samuel L. Adams" {Samuel/' Bcnjamm,^ Daniel^^ 
Daniel,^ "Josef h,^) married Betsey M. Parker, July 2, 
1848. No children. He is a grocer, and resides at Saint 
Charles, Kane County, Illinois. 

JosiAH Q^ Adams'' {Samuel,^ Benjamm,^ Daniel ^^ 
Daniel^' Joseph,^) married Mrs. Ellen E. Mayo, 

March 12, 1874. 

Their children were : 

Ida May, b. Jan. 9, 1875. 
Samuel, b. March 28, 1876. 

He is a farmer, and "lives on the old homestead," in 
Cavendish, Vermont. 

Ira H. Adams" {^Daniel,'' Benjamin.,^ Daniel/' DanieU- 
Josefh}) married Marcella Adams, April 14, 1852. 

Their children were : 

Frank H., b. April 26, 1853. 
Fred Darwin, b. Aug. 6, 1854. 
Delos W., b. Sept. 15, 1855. 
Samuel, b. Jan. 16, 1857. 
Daniel H., b. March 17, i860. 

He is a farmer, and lives at Chester, Vermont. 

Washington Adams*"' {Benjamin/ Benjamin / Daniel/ 
Daniel/ "Josefh/) married Dena Ann Hager, at 
Cavendish, Vermont, December 20, 1854. 

Their children were : 

Marcellus, b. Dec. 17, 1855 ; d. Sept. 27, 1856. 
Clarence, b. Nov. 18, 1857. 


This gentleman is a farmer, and resides at Chester, 
Vermont. The author of this work is indebted largely to 
him for the foregoing account of most of the descendants 
of Benjamin Adams, his grandfather. 

Frank Adams, brother of Washington Adams, is a 
large manufacturer of sewer pipe. He is a resident of 
Akron, Ohio, living with his second wife. He has two 
children by each wife — one son and three daughters. 

Alpheus a. Adams" {Daniel,^ Benjamin ^ Daniel^-^ 
Daniel,- Josef h,^) married, first, Lucia A. Wheeler, 
March 6, 1856. She died May i, 1870. 

Their children were : 

Anna C, b. Dec. 24, i860; d. Oct. 12, 1861. 
Frank W., b. June 3, 1863. 
M. Lucia, b. June 5, 1867. 

Married, second, Mary E. Andrews, May 4, 187 1. 
He is a trader and does business at Chester, Vermont, 
where he resides. 

Richard J. Adams" {yoseph,^ Benjamin,^ Daniel,^ 
Daniel,^ yoseph,^) married Emily F. Holland. 

Their child was : 
Richard F., b. July 28, 1871. 

This family resides at Palatka, Putnam County, 

John Qltinn Adams" (JVoah,^ yosefh,^ Daniel^^ 
Daniel,- yosepk,^^ married Katie Carlin. 

Their children were : 

Ulric Sheridan, b. 1874. 

Arthur Earl, b. May — , 1877. 


He is a farmer residing at Racine, Newton County, 

Henry Adams" {Sauiuel/' 'Joel,^ Daniel^^ Danicl,'- 
Jose^h,^) married Catherine E. Tenney, November 12, 

Their children were : 

Henry, b. Dec. 17, 1868. 
Alice Louise, b. Oct. 17, 1874. 

He is a clerk in the carpet warehouse of John H. 
Pray, Sons & Co., in Boston. 

Daniel E. Adams' {Darzvin^' Daniel^'' Daniel.,^ 
Daniel^'' Daniel^- yosc^ph,^) married Ellen F. Kingsbury, 
of Keene, 1854. 

Their children were : 

Charles D., b. Oct. 21, 1854. 
Mary C, b. April 9, 1868. 
George W., b. April 27, 1873. 

This gentleman is a congregational minister, and is 
settled at Ashburnham. 

There are only two or three male descendants of 
Daniel Adams, during his six consecutive generations, 
whose names are not contained in the tbregoing memorial 
of this branch of tlie family. 

Shadrack Whitney, son of Jonathan Whitney, and 
brother of Amos, the giver of the Townsend parsonage, 
was born in Watertown, in 1698. He was in Townsend 
before it was chartered, in 1732. The Groton records 
contain his marriage: "Jan. 5, 1731-2, Shadrack Whitney 
of y^' North Town to Prudence Lawrence." He was 
rather a prominent man, and served on several com- 
mittees, appointed by the proprietors, to la\- out and 


apportion the undivided lands equally among them. He 
lived in that part of the town, which was left in Mason, 
by the running of the province line. It appears that in 
1753, he had "a house and barn, and about twenty acres 
cleared and fenced, and a young orchard,"* in that tow^n. 
He owned lands in Mason, Townsend and Groton. In 
August, 1733, the Townsend proprietors held a meeting 
"at y'' publick meeting house," the principal object of 
which was "To see if y*^ said proprietors think it con- 
venient to grant a recompense ( to Ephraim Sawtell ) for 
any land which may be flowed by erecting a dam upon 
Squannoocook River, near y*' house of John Patt in order 
to Sett upp mills for the benefit of said Proprietors." A 
grant of land was awarded to said Sawtell, at that meet- 
ing. The following record, in connection with that vote 
is here presented : — 

"The Subfcriberf whofe namef are underwritten (being 
dilTatisfied With the Vote of y*^ Proprietorf in granting an 
Equivolent for Landf which may be flowed af afore Said) 
have Decented againft y® proceedingf of faid vote. 

Ebenezer Wyman, Samuel Kendal, 

Amos Whitney, Jasher Wyman, 

Shadrach Whitney. 

Attell : Jasher Wyman, Proprietors' Clerk.'' 

Sometime in the latter part of his life, he moved from 
Mason to Groton, where, on the twentieth of July, 1764, 
he made his will, which was proved, approved and al- 
lowed, on the fourteenth of the following August. After 
making several bequests to relatives and friends, he gave 
the town of Groton forty pounds, to be put upon interest 

HiU's historj' of Mason, page 41. 


"in such a way and manner as they shall think lit, so that 
the interest thereof may be improved and applied to the 
support of the ordained minister of the town of Groton, 
from time to time, forever hereafter." 

The Whitneys, from that time to the present, have 
been noted for their liberal donations, both to religious 
and scientific objects. As in the flowage case cited, they 
have always done their own thinking, and were always 
ready to place themselves squarely on record. 

Levi Whitney was the eldest son of Daniel Whit- 
ney, who was brother of Shadrack. He was born 
(probably) in Shrewsbury, December 5, 1739. He 
came to Townsend about the time he arrived at majority. 
He married, first, Rebecca Clark, daughter of Deacon 
Samuel Clark, December 19, 1764. 

Their children were : 

Amos, b. Feb. 11, 1766; d. Oct. 2, 1854. 

Asa, b. , 1767 ; d. Feb. — , 1851. 

Sarah, b. , 1769 ; m. Eleazer Flint, of Reading, 

May 3, 1 791. 

Aaron, b. , ; married and lived tor a while 

in Milford, N. H. ; afterwards he removed to the 
State of Maine, where he died. Tradition says 
he was a large and powerful man, six and one- 
half feet in height. 

Sibyl, b. , ; m. Cyrus Smith, of New Ips- 

^ wich, N. H. 

Sewell, b. , ; had no family. He vvas 

drowned by being accidentally knocked from the 
deck of a sloop at Lansingburg, N. Y. 

The father of this family married, second, Mrs. 
Lydia ( Randall) Price, the widow of Major Henry 


Price, the first deputy grand master of Masons in America. 
They had one daughter : 

Rebecca, b. July 29, 1781 ; m. Benjamin Wallace, of 
Townsend, Sept. 18, 1799- They have descend- 
ants, at present, in this town. 

During the revolutionary war, Levi Whitney was an 
officer in the commissary department, with the rank of 
lieutenant. He was a man of much mechanical inge- 
nuity, and a manufacturer of agricultural tools. His 
children were all born in Townsend. 

Amos Whitney, the son of Levi, married Anna. 
Brown, of Concord, August 16, 1789. He was in the 
coopering business, at Chelmsford, now Middlesex Vil- 
lage, where he lived and where he acquired a large 
property in that trade. He died October 2, 1854. 

Their children were : 

Amos, b. , 1790; d. Oct. 19, 1873. 

Sewell, b. ; died young. 

Asa Whitney, the son of Levi, married Mary 
Wallace, February 25, 1790. He was a blacksmith and 
resided in this town. He died December 27, 185 1, aged 
eighty-four years ; she died February 11, 1846. 

Their children were : 

Polly, b. May 29, 1790; m. James French, of 

Henniker, N. H. 
Asa, b. Dec. i, 1791. 
Samuel, b. Feb. 27, 1794; d. at Waltham, Nov. — , 



Sewell, b. March i8, 1796; d. Oct. 26, 1818. 

Rebecca, b. Nov. 4, 1797; d. Sept. i, 1800. 

Sarah, b. May 3, 1800 ; m. George Hartwell, d. Sept. 

28, 1829. 
Levi, b. March 19, 1802 ; resides in Cleveland, Ohio. 
Joel, b. June 8, 1807 ; resides in Winchester. 

The father of this family was an upright, hard- 
working man, but possessed of little financial ability. 
These sons and daughters were all born on Nissequassick 

Asa Whitney, oldest son of Asa, married Clarinda 
Williams, at Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, 
on the twenty-second day of August, 1815. She was' the 
daughter of Ralph Williams, of Groton, Connecticut. 

Their children were : 

William Wallace, b. Sept. i, 1817 ; unmarried; died 
in Cuba, Nov. 17, 1847. He was a civil engineer. 

George, b. Oct. 17, 1819 : married : has one daughter. 
Resides in Philadelphia. 

Mary Jane, b. Nov. 8, 183 1 ; m. John H. Redfield, 
Aug. 16, 1843, then of New York, now of 
Philadelphia. Has four children. 

Daniel Lyman, b. Feb. — , 1824; died in infancy. 

Eliza, b. Jan 25, 1826; m. Rev. M. A. DeWolfe 
Howe, June 9, 1857. Has three children. 

John Randall, b. Oct. 21, 1828; married, and has 
seven children. Resides in Philadelphia. 

James Shields, b. Dec. 2, 1830; married, and has 
four children. Resides in Philadelphia. 

These sons and daughters were all born at Brown- 
ville, New York. Asa Whitney, the father of this family, 
at the age of thirteen years sought employment in Boston ; 


after some months returned home, and, after attending 
school for a time, returned to his father's blacksmith shop, 
and having learned the trade, he went to Swanzey, New 
Hampshire, where he worked on cotton mill machinery, 
for two years or more. In 1813, he went to Brattleboro, 
Vermont, and engaged in the same business, but was 
burned out and lost all his earnings. Soon afterward he 
went to Brownville, New York, where he resided several 
years. For a time he lived at Schenectady, and again at 
Albany, New York. He was then superintendent of the 
Mohawk & Hudson Railroad. At one dme he held the 
office of Canal Commissioner. His reputation as a rail- 
road engineer, at one time, was so high that he was 
consulted on the question of the gauge of the Erie Rail- 
road, then being built. He gave an elaborate opinion in 
favor of the four feet eight and one-half inch gauge, 
which, had it been adopted then (as it has been recently), 
would have saved the railway millions of dollars. From 
1842 to 1847, with M. W. Baldwin, he was engaged, in 
the City of Philadelphia, in the manutacture of locomo- 
dves, on an extensive scale. In 1847, he commenced the 
manufacture of car wheels, and founded the establish- 
ment still carried on, at Philadelphia, by the firm of 
"A. Whitney & Sons." Before his death, this firm 
manufactured about 75,000 car wheels annuall}^. He was 
a man of great benevolence, giving liberally through 
life, and at his death he left by his will $50,000 to found a 
chair of dynamical engineering, in the University of 
Pennsylvania, and about $40,000 to other charitable 
purposes. He left a princely fortune to his family, and 
was probably the only millionaire among the sons of 



Townsend. He died at Philadelphia, June 4, 1874. His 
widow is still living (1878). 

Samuel Whitney, brother of Asa, married Polly 
Wallace, September 30, 1813. 

Their children were : 

Mary, b. ; m. Shattuck. 

Samuel b. . 

Wallace, b. ; m. Mary A. Brooks, 1844. 

He is a machinist. 
Harriet, b. . 

This man is noticed on page 251 of this book, as the 
inventor of the planing machine, now used extensively. 
He possessed a great amount of inventive and mechanical 
skill, but was deficient in matters of business. He moved 
to Waltham, where he died, in November, 1870. 

Sewell Whitney, another brother, never married. 
He died October 26, 1818, aged twenty-two. He was the 
only one of the family who worked on wood, the others 
being disciples of Tubal Cain. He made bowls, bottles, 
and trays. His gallon bottles were made of poplar, one 
piece of wood, turned inside and outside, while the wood 
was green. Seasoned heads of the same wood were then 
put in and when dried, they were air-tight. Many a 
thirsty haymaker has been refreshed from these hoopless 
samples of woodenware. 

Amos Whitney, the son of Amos and Anna (Brown) 
Whitney, born 1790, never married. He was a man of 
exemplary character, without being particularl}' enter- 
prising. In 1854, ^^^^ father died, and left him a large 


amount of wealth which w^as acquired in the coopering 
business. His pecuniary means were ample without this 
additional inheritance. He left a will at his decease, 
devising about $20,000 to his relatives, $2,500 to the 
"Old Ladies Home," a charitable institution, at Lowell, 
and made Tufts College the residuary legatee. The 
amount of his wealth, at his death, was over $50,000. He 
died at Middlesex Village, October 19, 1873. 

There is not a person, at present, by the name of 
Whitney, among the inhabitants of Townsend. A grand- 
daughter of Lydia (Price) Whitney, the widow Rebecca 
(Wallace) Simonds, a few of her descendants and the 
descendants of the late Benjamin Wallace, are the onlv 
persons claiming the least relationship to the descendants 
of Levi Whitney, the ancestor of the people by that name 
formerly in Townsend. No record of the birth of any of 
the Whitne}' families herein described, can be found in the 
town records. The family bibles and moss-covered grave- 
stones have sacredly preserved what few dates are here 
presented, concerning the births and deaths of these 
inventors and philanthropists, their children, and those 
whom they loved.